Oil prices closed trading on Friday, retreating from their highest levels since January, and this comes as oil markets fears of accelerating US shale oil production after announcing a rise in US inventories, but the losses were reduced by the continued commitment of OPEC and independent producers to reduce levels output.
At the close of trading last Friday, crude oil contracts for “April delivery” fell at a value of 46 cents, or 0.9%, to reach the price of a barrel at closing at $53.99, and Brent contracts fell to reach the price of a barrel at $55.03, the lowest since January 3 Over the course of the week’s trading, oil futures contracts on the New York Stock Exchange recorded an increase of 13 cents, or 0.3%.
On the London Stock Exchange, Brent crude futures closed on Friday, at a value of 59 cents, or 1.1%, to trade at a price of 55.99 dollars per barrel. Straight.
Concerns are still growing in light of the rise in US shale oil production, which puts pressure on the efforts made by OPEC and independent producers to reduce their production levels aimed at supporting oil prices and achieving balance and stability for the markets.
On Friday, Baker Hughes Oil Services released its report on the number of US drilling rigs, and the report showed an increase in the number of rigs by 5 rigs for the sixth week in a row, bringing the total number to 602, the highest since October 2015.
In this regard, the US Energy Information Administration announced last Thursday its official report on US stocks, which showed a rise of 564,000 barrels last week, which increases concerns about the global supply glut.
During last month’s trading, oil prices traded in a limited range around $50 a barrel, due to the fact that prices are under both positive and negative influence, as markets are optimistic about the continuity of OPEC’s commitment to reduce production levels on the one hand, and on the other hand, concerns about the rise in US shale oil production are increasing.
Sources from within OPEC said this month that it is possible that the duration of the agreement will be increased for an additional six months after July, especially if global oil stocks do not reach the target levels.
On the Nymex Stock Exchange, gasoline contracts for “March delivery” fell at the close of trading on Friday, at a value of 1.3 cents, or 0.9%, to reach the price of a gallon at 1.514 dollars.
Heating oil contracts fell last Friday by 1.6 cents, or 1%, to reach the price of a gallon at 1.640 dollars, and throughout the week's trading, heating oil contracts rose by 0.33%.
While the contracts for natural gas “April delivery” rose on Friday, by 3.8 cents, or 1.4%, to trade at a price of $2.834 per million British thermal units, and over the course of the week, the contracts lost about 0.77%.
A number of important reports are expected to be issued this week, which are represented in US inventories, oil and refined products.
The following are the details of the most important events for the oil market this week:
Tuesday 28th February
The American Petroleum Institute is to release its unofficial report on US oil inventories for the past week.
Wednesday 1 March
The official US stockpiles report for last week will be revealed by the US Energy Information Administration.
Thursday 2 March
The US government will prepare its weekly report on natural gas.
Friday 3 March
Baker Hughes Oil Services will release its rig count report for US companies.