What to Watch: This Week’s Key Crude Oil Price Drivers

Energy calendar this week 

Let’s track some important events for crude oil and natural gas traders from September 11 to 15, 2017.

  • Tuesday, September 12: The American Petroleum Institute’s crude oil and gasoline inventory report
  • Tuesday, September 12: OPEC’s (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) “Monthly Oil Market Report”
  • Tuesday, September 12: The US Energy Information Administration’s (or EIA) “Short-Term Energy Outlook” report
  • Wednesday, September 13: The EIA’s crude oil inventory report
  • Wednesday, September 13: The International Energy Agency’s (or IEA) monthly “Oil Market Report”
  • Thursday, September 14: The EIA’s weekly natural gas storage report
  • Friday, September 15: Baker Hughes’s US oil rig count report

What to Watch: This Week’s Key Crude Oil Price Drivers

High and low  

West Texas Intermediate (or WTI) crude oil (ERY)(ERX) futures hit $54.45 per barrel on February 23, 2017—the highest level in more than two years.

On the other hand, crude oil prices hit $26.21 per barrel on February 11, 2016—the lowest level in more than a decade.

Crude oil price drivers for this week 

WTI crude oil (IXC)(IYE) (FENY) prices are at a one-week low. Prices could fall this week due to weak demand due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But a fall in US and OPEC crude oil production could support crude oil prices.

Higher crude oil (DBO)(DIG)(USL) prices have a positive impact on oil and gas producers such as Bill Barrett (BBG), Hess (HES), and Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI).

US crude oil price forecasts 

A Wall Street Journal survey of major banks predicts that US crude oil prices will average $51 per barrel in 2018—$2 per barrel lower than the previous estimates. Major banks downgraded their forecasts on oil prices for a fourth straight month on August 31.

In the next part of this series, we’ll see how Cushing crude oil inventories impact prices.