U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Friday’s session 11 cents higher at $50.66 per barrel, the highest settle since May 24. The contract was up about 1.5 percent on the week, marking the third straight weekly gain.
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 38 cents to $56.81 a barrel at by 2:18 p.m. ET (1818 GMT). The contract earlier hit $56.87, the highest intraday level since March 1.
Oil prices were little changed after Baker Hughes reported that oil rigs operating in U.S. fields fell by 5 to a total of 744.
Oil prices have gained more than 15 percent in the last three months, suggesting output cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day by OPEC and other producers have helped clear the global crude glut. Rising global demand has also brought more balance to the market.
Analysts say they are more focused on the demand outlook, which has grown stronger.Sustained high demand at refineries is the key to keeping an oil price rally going, they say. Although Demand for refined petroleum products like diesel has been “remarkable,” but Kilduff believes persistently high U.S oil production will continue to exert downward pressure on crude prices. He is also wary of the prevailing narrative around demand strength.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 15.2 million barrels per day during the week ending September 15, 2017, 1.1 million barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 83.2% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging 9.8 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging over 4.5 million barrels per day.
The Trump administration is trying to lay the groundwork to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas drilling, according to a report last week from the Washington Post.
Even when oil prices have been at low levels, companies like ConocoPhillips still drilled in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and a spokesperson for Conoco told the post they would consider ANWR to see if it will render profit. If the Trump administration has its way, the industry would like to get the chance to verify the prognosis.
“US crude ticks up 11 cents, settling at $50.66 for third straight weekly gain” https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/21/oil-prices-edge-up-ahead-of-opec-meeting-on-supply-cut-extension.html
“Refinery demand, not OPEC, is the key to keeping oil prices above $50 a barrel, analyst say” https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/22/refinery-demand-not-opec-is-the-key-to-keeping-oil-prices-above-50-a-barrel-analysts-say.html
- eia Weekly Petroleum Status Report Highlights