Crude oil settles above $60 for first time since June 2015

30 December, 2017, 03:43 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • WTI Crude Oil

Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 58 cents, or 1%, to $60.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settle value since June 2015.

Meanwhile, global economic growth has pushed expectations for oil demand higher.

Lipow said he expected USA crude prices to creep up to around $63 a barrel by the end of next year, while Brent would remain around $67 a barrel as US oil exports rise to record levels. In the last two months, West Texas Intermediate crude prices reached their highest level in more than two years, allowing producers to hedge future output at more than $50 a barrel.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the USA oil production last week fell to 9.754 million barrels per day from 9,789 a week earlier. WTI has averaged $6 a barrel less than Brent prices since September.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude stockpiles fell to the lowest level since October 2015 in the week ended December 22.

Brent futures also rose, up 1.2% to $66.92/bbl after breaking through $67 earlier this week for the first time since May 2015.

Unleaded Gasoline
Daily February Unleaded Gasoline

OIL prices edged up yesterday, remaining near 2-1/2-year highs after data showed strong demand for crude imports in China and on increased USA refining activity that drew more crude from inventories. In 2018, investors will watch whether rising prices trigger a new flood of USA output.

Some surveys predict that United States production could hit 10,000,000 bpd in the next few months.

Oil prices posted solid gains on Friday, as analysts said a decline in US production and commercial crude inventories lifted sentiment. The volumes of oil these companies financially hedged for 2018 collectively totaled 23 percent of their total third-quarter 2017 liquids production and 12 percent of forecasted US crude oil production in 2018, based on EIA's December Short-Term Energy Outlook.

WTI traded at an average price of about $52 this year. The US production grew by almost 16% since mid-2016, as most analysts expected to cross the 10 million barrels per day by the end of 2017.

X China issued import quotas for 2018 that traders believe could result in record-high purchases, according a Reuters.

Libya is to start repairing the pipeline near the Es Sider terminal this weekend, a Libyan oil official said, while the Forties pipeline was already pumping close to normal levels, according to trading sources.

More news: Cold weather to stick around Wednesday

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