Decoding US Crude Oil Prices in the Last 12 Months
Crude oil prices
March WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (ERY) (USO) (UCO) (ERX) futures contracts fell 0.4% and were trading at $52.9 per barrel in electronic trade at 1:20 AM EST on January 30, 2017. For more on crude oil and the dollar, read Part 1 of this series.
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Crude oil’s lows in the last 12 months
- record US crude oil production in 2015
- record OPEC crude oil production
- record Russian oil production
- high global crude oil and refined products inventories
As of January 27, 2017, crude oil prices rose 103% from their 2016 lows. Higher crude oil (IYE) (IXC) (FENY) (SCO) prices have a positive impact on producers’ earnings such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Chevron (CVX), Comstock Resources (CRK), Northern Oil & Gas (NOG), and Triangle Petroleum (TPLM).
Key bearish drivers for crude oil in 2017
- US production
- US crude oil inventories
- Donald Trump’s energy policy
- OECD crude oil inventories
- rising Libyan and Nigerian crude oil production
- global crude oil supply outages
- Iran’s crude oil production
Crude oil’s highs in the last 12 months
US crude oil prices settled at $54.1 per barrel on December 28, 2016—the highest since July 14, 2015. As of January 27, 2017, crude oil prices are 1.7% below their highs.
Key bullish drivers for crude oil 2017
- successful implementation of major oil producers’ production cut deal
- India and China’s crude oil demand
- US gasoline demand
A Reuters poll estimated that Brent and US WTI crude oil prices will average $57.01 per barrel and $55.23 per barrel in 2017, respectively. In the last part of this series, we’ll look at some crude oil price forecasts.
In the next part of the series, we’ll look at Cushing crude oil inventories and their impact on crude oil prices.