Crude oil prices
June WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (VDE) (XES) (IEZ) futures contracts fell 1.0% and closed at $48.84 per barrel on May 1, 2017. Oil and gas are major parts of the energy sector. The energy sector made up ~6.3% of the S&P 500 (SPY) (SPX-INDEX) as of April 28, 2017. The S&P 500 rose 0.17% on May 1, 2017.
US crude oil prices hit a one-month low due to the following:
- rise in Libya’s crude oil production
- Saudi Arabia’s reduced prices for June crude oil exports to Asia due to a fight for market share, which indicates an increase in supply
- US crude oil rig count at a two-year high
- rise in US crude oil production
Libya’s crude oil production
The chair of the NOC (National Oil Corporation) of Libya recently said that the country’s crude oil production has hit the December 2014 high and current production is more than 700,000 bpd (barrels per day).
A market survey estimates that Libya’s crude oil production was ~760,000 bpd in April 2017 compared to 600,000 bpd in March 2017. Production rose due to the restart of production activity in the western oil fields.
Militant attacks on the country’s oil infrastructure caused Libya’s crude oil production to fall in March 2017. The NOC estimates that the country could produce ~1.3 MMbpd (million barrels per day) of crude oil by the end of August 2017 if all the blockades on its ports are cleared. However, Libya is prone to political turmoil and security concerns.
The rise in crude oil production in Libya could pressure crude oil (BNO) (USL) (DIG) prices. Volatility in crude oil prices impacts oil producers such as Chevron (CVX), QEP Resources (QEP), Hess (HES), and PDC Energy (PDCE).
What’s in this series?
In this series, we’ll focus on the American Petroleum Institute’s crude oil inventories, OPEC’s (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies) crude oil production, Russia’s crude oil production, and monthly US crude oil production.
Let’s start by looking at crude oil prices during early morning trade on May 2, 2017.