Crude Oil Prices: Weekly Outlook 4 – 8 Feb 2019

Oil traders will continue to watch global crude oil supply and energy demand prospects next week.

Futures gained 3% on Friday as signs of US sanctions on Venezuelan exports tightened supply, while US employment data boosted expectations for higher fuel demand.

Data showing a weekly decline in the number of rigs in the US also contributed to earnings. Drillers cut 15 rigs during the week ending February 1, bringing the total to 847. This is the lowest level since May 2018, according to energy company Baker Hughes.

Crude Oil Prices

Crude Oil Prices 4 – 8 Feb 2019

It was the fourth time in the last five weeks that US energy companies had reduced the number of drills, implying a possible slowdown in domestic production activity.

US crude oil company West Texas Intermediate ended Friday’s session at $ 1.47 or 2.7% at $ 55.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The WTI index has risen to its best at $ 55.66 since November 21st.

For the week, the US benchmark rose about 2.9%, the fourth weekly increase in the last five weeks.

Meanwhile, the international Brent crude oil price on the ICE (NYSE: ICE) Futures Europe Exchange has gained $ 1.91, or about 3.2%, at $ 62.75 a barrel. The week increased by 1.8%.

After the oil price ended in free fall in 2018, it has risen by around 15% since the beginning of the year.

Overall, recent progress for the energy complex has been supported by evidence of a decline in global production.

Saudi Arabia’s OPEC and its non-member Russian-led cooperative agreed to collectively cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first six months of 2019 to prevent global overfilling of supplies.

Venezuela is likely to stay in the headlines next week after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which was holding tankers in harbors.

New data on commercial crude oil inventories in the US and on production activity will also attract market attention this week.

Before next week, we put together a list of key events that could affect the oil market.

Tuesday, February 5th

The American Petroleum Institute publishes a weekly update on US oil reserves.

Wednesday, February 6th

The US Energy Information Administration will publish its weekly report on oil stocks.

Friday, February 8th

Baker Hughes will publish weekly data on the number of rigs in the US.

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