Recovery in Crude Oil Prices: What Are the Key Drivers?


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

Crude oil prices  

March Brent crude oil futures rose 0.4% and closed at $54.16 per barrel on January 19, 2017. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (PXI) (BNO) (USL) (ERX) (ERY) (IYE) futures contracts for March delivery rose 0.4% and settled at $52.12 per barrel on January 19, 2017.

Crude oil prices recovered from one-week lowsdollar due to the following factors:

  • The IEA (International Energy Agency) thinks that oversupply in the crude oil market is decreasing.
  • Cushing crude oil inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels in the previous week.

However, the strong one-week lowsdollar and overall US crude oil inventories limited the upside for crude oil prices.

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IEA’s  monthly report 

The IEA released its monthly Oil Market report on January 19, 2017. It reported that OPEC crude oil production fell by 320,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 33,090,000 bpd in December 2016—compared to the previous month. The IEA also added that OECD crude oil inventories fell for the same period.

OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut crude oil production by 1.8 MMbpd (million barrels per day) starting in January 2017. As a result, crude oil (RYE) (PXI) (XOP) (USL) rose ~14% since November 30, 2016.

Higher crude oil prices have a positive impact on oil and gas producers’ earnings like ExxonMobil (XOM), Sanchez Energy (SN), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Synergy Resources (SYRG).

US crude oil inventories  

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its weekly crude oil inventory report on January 19, 2017. We’ll look at US crude oil inventories and their regional breakdown in Part 2 of this series.

Series focus   

In this series, we’ll look at US crude oil production, refinery demand, imports, and inventories. We’ll also look at gasoline and distillate inventories.

We’ll start by looking at US crude oil prices in early morning trade on January 20, 2017.


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