Crude oil futures and moving averages
July WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (USL) (SCO) (BNO) futures contracts rose more than ~5% for the week ending May 19, 2017. US crude oil futures are above their 20-day and 50-day moving averages of $48.6 and $50 per barrel as of May 19, 2017. Prices are below their 100-day and 200-day moving averages of $52.5 and $52 per barrel as of May 19, 2017.
Crude oil’s highs in the last 15 months
US crude oil prices settled at $54.45 per barrel on February 23, 2017—the highest level since June 2015. As of May 19, 2017, crude oil prices were 7.6% below their highs.
Key bullish drivers for crude oil in 2017
Crude oil’s lows in the last 15 months
US crude oil settled at $26.21 per barrel on February 11, 2016. Prices hit a 13-year low due to the following factors:
- record US crude oil production in 2015
- record OPEC crude oil production
- record Russian oil production
- record global crude oil and high refined product inventories
As of May 19, 2017, crude oil prices have risen 92% from their 2016 lows. Higher crude oil (ERY) (ERX) (USO) prices have a positive impact on oil producers’ earnings such as PDC Energy (PDCE), Matador Resources (MTDR), SM Energy (SM), and Continental Resources (CLR).
Key bearish drivers for crude oil in 2017
- a rise in US crude oil rigs to April 2015 high
- high US crude oil inventories
- high US crude oil production
In the next part of the series, we’ll look at how Cushing crude oil inventories impact crude oil prices.