The severe winter storm that swept through the United States last week likely shut in between 2 million and 4 million b/d of US crude oil production, IHS Markit said in an analysis. The freeze, which started in Texas and moved east across much of the US, has also impacted almost 6 million b/d of refining capacity, including 5.2 million b/d along the Gulf Coast and 730,000 b/d in the Midwest. Issues with power outages, frozen pipes, roads, and personnel have resulted in a large volume of US oil and natural gas production being shut in. This storm is turning into a global problem. According to Citi estimates, the total lost US production by early March could reach 16 million barrels. Others, however, say the lost production could be twice as high.
Prices in London climbed for a fourth straight week as efforts to clear an oil surplus are supporting oil prices until demand comes back to pre-pandemic levels. Brent futures surged the most since early January on Friday, while West Texas Intermediate crude flirted with $60/barrel for the first time in more than a year. Oil demand outlooks improved amid signs of progress on US COVID-19 vaccination distribution and Washington’s coronavirus stimulus package.
Brent closed on Friday at $59.44—close to the benchmark’s $60 psychological threshold. Last week at this time, the spot price for Brent was just $55.04. The near $5 gain is due to a combination of factors, including a large crude oil inventory decrease in the US, continuing OPEC+ production restraint, Aramco’s price hike to crude for Europe, US traders drunk on stimulus chatter, and whispers of an overall tightening oil market. But can this uptrend last amid lockdown extensions and oil demand that just isn’t there yet?
Oil: Prices remained in a narrow range for the third week, around $52 in New York and $55 in London. As has become routine, much of the news impacting oil prices has to do with the coronavirus and vaccine programs’ pace. For the immediate future, lockdowns in many regions will limit demand. The more contagious coronavirus variant identified in South Africa has reached the US, raising worries that more outbreaks may be ahead.
The course of the coronavirus continued to roil the oil markets last week. After a 10 percent gain since the beginning of the year, oil reversed last week as new outbreaks of the virus accompanied by recent lockdowns appeared worldwide. Reports that China has been forced into new lockdowns and that a new and possibly more lethal variant of the virus is spreading across Europe added to concerns. Delays in the delivery of vaccines are also causing worries that the impact of the virus will continue a while longer.
Prices, which hit their highest in nearly a year the previous week, posted their first weekly decline of 2021 last week. Brent was down 1.6 percent on the week, and US crude down about 0.4 percent. Producers face unprecedented challenges balancing supply and demand with other factors involving vaccine rollouts versus lockdowns, strong equities, a weaker dollar, and robust Chinese demand.
Oil posted the biggest weekly gain since late September as Saudi Arabia’s plan to slice output spurred a surge in physical crude buying. In New York, futures advanced $3.72 this week, and Brent oil topped $55 a barrel for the first time since February. Last week’s pledge from Saudi Arab to cut production by 1 million b/d in February and March has made for a tighter supply outlook sooner than anticipated. Meanwhile, prospects for additional stimulus under a Biden administration spurred broader market gains.
Crude futures rode a late session upswing to end 2020 higher, as the market looked to a Jan. 4th OPEC+ meeting for direction. WTI settled at $48.52, and Brent settled at $51.80. With oil markets closed on Jan. 1st for the New Year’s Day holiday, the next driver will likely be the OPEC+ group meeting when ministers will decide on production quotas for February. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Novak floated the possibility of another 500,000 b/d increase for February, the maximum monthly amount allowed under the rules. Global crude oil markets lost about a fifth of their value in 2020 as coronavirus lockdowns paralyzed much of the worldwide economy.
Weekly prices declined for the first time since October, as a new coronavirus mutation spread through parts of the world and poses risks to energy demand. Futures in New York slid 1.8 percent this week yet closed up on Thursday, with equities gaining after the UK clinched an historic trade deal with the European Union. Stricter restrictions were extended to much of England to contain the new strain of Covid-19, and China said it would pause flights to and from the UK. A cluster of infections in Sydney is growing and, in the US, New York City hospitalizations are at the highest since May.
Prices rose for a seventh straight week as efforts to pass another US virus relief package added to optimism that the vaccine’s rollout will provide a boost in demand. Futures rose 1.5 percent in New York on Friday, extending this week’s rally to over 5 percent. Talks on a relief package have made some headway, and recent progress in rolling out a Covid-19 vaccine has also buoyed the outlook for consumption. Brent crude settled at $52.26 a barrel after touching $52.48, its highest since March. West Texas Intermediate settled at $49.10 after reaching $49.28, its highest since February.
Oil managed a small weekly gain last week as the impasse in Washington over pandemic relief dimmed chances of an imminent boost in demand. New York futures eased off a nine-month high alongside a broader market decline as bipartisan talks on another round of US fiscal stimulus stalled. West Texas Intermediate rose less than 1 percent for the week closing at $46.57. At week’s end, Bent closed at $49.97 after rallying above $50 earlier in the week for the first time since March. The futures market is primarily focused on the arrival of a vaccine for the coronavirus, which hopefully will open the way for demand to return to normal. Many, however, believe that “normal” demand still is months away and that there is much pain in the immediate future.
Prices rose for a fifth straight week with support from the OPEC+ deal and hopes for another round of US stimulus. Futures in New York and London closed at nine-month highs on Friday, with signs momentum is building toward a fiscal stimulus plan that could provide a demand boost before a vaccine is widely available.
Prices rose for a fourth straight week, buoyed by optimism over Covid-19 vaccine progress ahead of an OPEC+ ministerial meeting this week. Futures in New York advanced 8 percent last week, despite edging lower on Friday. The shape of the oil futures curve firmed over recent sessions, with some nearer-dated futures contracts rising above later-dated ones. It’s a sign of how the market has dramatically repriced the increased likelihood of a vaccine rollout jumpstarting more robust demand next year.
Last week. prices rose to the highest in nearly three months, with positive Covid-19 vaccine developments paving the way for a more sustained oil demand recovery. Futures rose 5 percent in New York for a third straight weekly gain as Pfizer and BioNTech requested emergency authorization of their Covid vaccine Friday. Moderna also released positive interim results from a final-stage trial and said it is close to seeking emergency authorization. Gains were limited by broader market declines amid a dispute between the White House and the Federal Reserve over emergency lending programs. Brent crude closed out the week at $44.96 a barrel. The more active US West Texas Intermediate closed Friday at $42.42.
Futures fell 2.4 percent in New York on Friday, closing at $40.13, but still posted the largest weekly gain in a month as optimism about a potential Covid-19 vaccine jolted markets earlier in the week. While global oil markets rallied on the latest vaccine trial results, they are unlikely to feel any significant economic benefits until well into next year, the IEA said Thursday. The agency darkened its outlook for crude consumption in the months ahead, citing resurgent Covid-19 infection rates in the US and Europe. It now expects demand for 2020 to fall by 8.8 million barrels a day this year—400,000 barrels a day more than its last forecast.
Expectations over OPEC+ delaying its planned output increase in January and a post-election rally in equities helped crude prices with a strong start last week. But a string of renewed lockdowns in Europe and record case counts in the US kept any upward price momentum in check. Brent crude settled down $1.48, or 3.62 percent, at $39.45 a barrel on Friday and West Texas Intermediate dropped $1.65, or 4.25 percent to $37.14 a barrel.
Oil posted its largest monthly drop since March as renewed lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus threatened to upend a shaky demand recovery. Futures fell 1.1 percent in New York on Friday to end the week below $36 a barrel, taking their cue from a broader market selloff and the worst week for US stocks since March. Simultaneously, the US posted a record surge in daily coronavirus infections, while new restrictions in Europe could drive the region toward another recession.
Oil: Prices finished lower last week in anticipation of a surge in Libya’s crude supply and concerns about rising coronavirus cases in the US and Europe. Crude prices sank after Libya’s National Oil Corp said it lifted force majeure on exports from key ports and output would reach 1 million b/d in four weeks. In New York, futures settled at $39.85 a barrel, and Brent crude settled at $41.77. For the week, US crude futures lost 2.5 percent, and Brent dropped 2.7 percent.
Oil: Futures posted a small weekly gain on signs that demand is picking up in China even as a new wave of coronavirus infections casts a shadow over the global market. Brent futures settled at $42.93 a barrel, up 0.2 percent for the week, and New York futures settled at $40.88 a barrel. A panel of officials from OPEC+ discussed their worst-case scenario during a virtual monthly meeting on Thursday. The cartel fears a prolonged second wave of the pandemic, and a jump in Libyan output could push the oil market into surplus for much of 2021, a gloomier outlook than just a month ago.
Oil: Prices gained 9 percent last week, settling at $42.85 in London and $40.60 in New York — the first increase in three weeks and the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June. Futures climbed earlier last week due to concerns about the strike in Norway and hurricane Delta headed for the US Gulf Coast. Norwegian oil firms struck a bargain with labor on Friday, ending a 10-day strike that had threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output
Oil fell last week in New York to $37.05 and Brent plummeted to $39.27, after President Trump’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis combined with labor market weakness led to heightened concerns over an economic recovery. The coronavirus is resurgent again in Europe and hasn’t been brought under control in big economies such as India, leading to forecasters scaling back their estimates for when oil demand will get back to pre-virus levels. Concerns are increasing that global crude supplies and demand could again fall more out of balance.
Prices fell this week amid growing concerns that another wave of the coronavirus pandemic will spark tighter lockdowns and further stifle oil demand. New York futures edged lower Friday and fell 2.1 percent on the week closing at $40.25 in New York and $41.92 in London.
Prices climbed $4 a barrel last week, closing at about $43 in London and $41 in New York. They were lifted by hurricane Sally in the Gulf of Mexico, which took more than 500,000 b/d offline and left production 30 percent below normal by week’s end. A second storm is already forming in the western Gulf, which threatens to lower output still further.
Oil: Futures posted their first back-to-back weekly loss since April’s rout with the end of the summer driving season and concern about OPEC’s production compliance weighing on prices. New York futures fell 6.1 percent last week, coinciding with a fall in US equities. The market was under pressure all week, starting with Saudi Arabia’s surprise move to cut prices on oil it supplies to Asia by $1.00. The second wave of selling pressure was fueled by a surprise increase in US crude stockpiles as the pandemic continues to erode demand for fuels. West Texas Intermediate settled at $37.33 a barrel and Brent settled at $39.83 a barrel –down 6.6 percent for the week.
Oil: New York futures settled near two-month lows after gains in the dollar reduced the appeal of commodities priced in US currency and concerns about over-supply mount. Prices were pressured by extended declines in the US equities market and by a report showing US job growth slowed further in August as financial assistance from the government ran out. October futures settled $1.60 lower at $39.77 on Friday, while London’s Brent was down $1.41 to settle at $42.66.