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Will US Crude Oil Futures Break $50 per Barrel?

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Sep. 18 2017, Published 9:46 p.m. ET

Energy calendar this week  

Let’s track some important events for crude oil and natural gas traders between September 18 and September 22.

  • September 19: The American Petroleum Institute’s is slated to release its crude oil inventory report.
  • September 20: The US Energy Information Administration (or EIA) is scheduled to release its weekly crude oil inventory report.
  • Thursday, September 21: The EIA should release its weekly US natural gas inventory.
  • Friday, September 22: Baker Hughes is scheduled to release its US crude oil and natural gas rig count report.
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High and low 

US crude oil (XLE)(XOP) futures hit $54.45 per barrel on February 23, 2017—the highest level in more than two years. In contrast, crude oil prices hit $26.21 per barrel on February 11, 2016—the lowest level in thirteen years.

Crude oil price drivers for this week  

US crude oil (ERY)(ERX)(FXN) prices are near a two-month high. We discussed the details of the bullish drivers in Part 1 of this series. The expectation of improving US refinery crude oil demand could support US crude oil prices. However, the rise in US crude oil production and imports could limit the upside for crude oil prices.

Volatility in crude oil (IXC)(IYE)(USL) prices impacts oil and gas producers such as Bill Barrett (BBG), Cobalt International Energy (CIE), and Denbury Resources (DNR).

US crude oil futures’ moving averages

October US crude oil (VDE)(RYE)(PXI) futures are trading above their 20-day, 50-day, and 100-day moving averages of $48.1, $47.9, and $47.8 per barrel as of September 15. These moving averages suggest that crude prices could trade higher, pushing US crude oil prices above $50 per barrel.

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

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