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Oil Price Reaches Top Level in Almost Eight Weeks

29 July 2017, 12:54 | Melanie Burgess

Oil Prices up - 28-07-17

Oil posts best weekly gains; on track for fresh 2-month high

Brent oil prices rose immediately by about 1 percent to hit $48.50 with the news of a cap on Nigeria and by comments from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih that the kingdom's exports would fall to 6.6 million bpd in August as demand at home was rising, effectively representing a cut of 1 million bpd year-on-year.

US oil drillers added two rigs in the most recent week, the third week of gains, raising the overall rig count to 766.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 57 cents at $49.61 a barrel, after also touching a two-month peak of $49.78 a barrel.

This would cause near-term tightness in the physical oil market, which will push prices into a backwardation pattern this year, which means cargoes for near-term delivery would be priced higher than those for later shipment, Goldman added.

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USA crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week to July 21 due to strong refining activity and an increase in exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Reuters reported.

"Both markets are seeing a strong move in spreads through most of 2017 and 2018 due to shorts covering into heavy producer flow", said Scott Shelton, broker at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina. Gasoline stocks fell by 1 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a 614,000-barrel drop.

Oil prices also crossed their 200-day moving averages, a key resistance level, meaning it will be harder to post further gains, said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. This report details current and projected cargo flows - including Middle East exports to the USA - along with a host of trends, from OPEC to Venezuela to China. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the USA now stands at 958 rigs, up 495 rigs from past year, with oil rigs in the United States increasing by 2 and gas rigs increasing by 6 this week.

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