Crude oil prices
August WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil futures contracts fell by 0.2% and closed at $49.85 per barrel on June 21, 2016. Brent crude oil futures fell marginally by 0.06% and settled at $50.62 per barrel. Crude oil prices fell for the first time in the last three days due to uncertainty about the United Kingdom’s future in the European Union. However, crude oil prices’ downside was limited due to refinery outages and estimates of falling US crude oil inventories. ETFs that track oil futures like the United States Oil ETF (USO) fell by 0.17% on the same day. On the other hand, the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil (UCO) rose by 0.16% on June 21, 2016.
July WTI crude oil futures contracts expired on June 21, 2016. They fell by 1.1% and settled at $48.85 per barrel on the same day.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) shut its Texas refinery in Deer Park. The refinery produces gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking units at 316,600 barrel per day. As a result, gasoline prices rose in yesterday’s trade and boosted August WTI crude oil futures.
Uncertainty about the United Kingdom exiting the European Union could cause economic turmoil. It could also hamper crude oil demand sentiments. However, the latest polls suggest that it might not exit the European Union. Uncertainty is creating volatility in the crude oil market. Volatility in crude oil prices impacts oil producers like Comstock Resources (CRK), Northern Oil & Gas (NOG), and Cobalt International Energy (CIE).
Crude oil price volatility
Brent crude oil prices hit $52.51 on June 8—the highest settlement since early October 2015. WTI crude oil tested $51.53 on June 8—its highest level since July 2015. August WTI crude oil futures contracts were trading at $50.26 per barrel in electronic trade at 2 AM EST on June 22, 2016. Oil prices are up more than 88% since the lows in February 2016. Read the next three parts of the series for updates on bullish crude oil drivers.
US crude oil inventories
What’s in this series?
We’ll also look at the American Petroleum Institute’s US crude oil, gasoline, and distillate inventories in the last two parts of this series. We’ll discuss bullish and bearish catalysts for crude oil in the next four parts of this series.