Crude Oil Prices Increase due to Yemen’s Civil Unrest



Crude oil increases

Below is our crude oil price and fundamental analysis. For an in-depth fundamental look at crude oil and related companies, sectors, and drivers, please refer to our Energy and Power page.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil futures for June delivery increased by 2.81% on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Oil prices surged on the consensus of supply disruption from the Middle East. Prices closed at $57.74 per barrel at the close of trade on April 23. NYMEX crude oil tracking ETFs like the ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil (UCO) and the United States Oil Fund LP (USO) leveraged the performance of crude oil in yesterday’s trade. UCO increased by 4.40% and USO gained 2.07% at the end of trade yesterday.

Civil unrest in Yemen

Saudi Arabia began its disastrous air strike over Yemen as the civil war escalated. Yemen is located near key oil fields and important shipping routes. It’s located near Bab el-Mandeb—the fourth largest shipping choke point in the world. Around 3.8 MMbpd (million barrels per day) of oil and petroleum go through this point.The airstrike led speculation about supply disruption from the Middle East. The slowing US production and speculation about supply disruption boosted crude oil prices yesterday.

In contrast, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released the weekly crude oil inventories on April 22, 2015. The weekly crude oil inventories increased by 5.3 MMbbls (million barrels) for the week ending April 17—compared to the market consensus of 2.5 MMbbls. The contango market and record inventories are positive for oil transportation stocks like Nordic American Tanker (NAT), Teekay (TK), and Teekay Offshore (TOO).

May WTI crude oil futures increased for the sixth time in the last ten days. During the average up days, the prices increased by 1.43% more compared to the average down days. WTI crude oil was among the top three performers across all of the commodities on April 23, 2015. Oil prices rallied 8.18% YTD (year-to-date)—led by slowing US production and tensions in the Middle East.

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