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Will Crude Oil Prices Outperform in 4Q17?

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Energy calendar  

Let’s track some important events for crude oil and natural gas traders on October 9–13, 2017.

  • Wednesday, October 11 – the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) crude oil inventory report
  • Thursday, October 12 – the EIA’s (U.S. Energy Information Administration) Weekly Petroleum Status
  • Thursday, October 12 – the EIA’s US natural gas inventory report
  • Friday, October 13 – Baker Hughes’s US crude oil and natural gas rig count report
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High and low 

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (USO) (UCO) futures hit $26.21 per barrel on February 11, 2016—the lowest level in 13 years. On the other hand, WTI crude oil prices hit $54.45 per barrel on February 23, 2017—the highest level since July 2015.

Crude oil futures drivers for this week  

US crude oil prices are near a one-month low. The expectation of a rise in Cushing crude oil inventories and US crude oil production could pressure crude oil prices. The US dollar (UUP) is near a ten-week high. It could also weigh on crude oil prices. However, record US crude oil exports and steady refinery demand could support crude oil prices.

WTI crude oil prices in 3Q17 

WTI crude oil (SCO) (USL) (DWT) averaged $48.16 per barrel in 3Q17. It’s expected to average $47.83 per barrel in 4Q17, according to the EIA. However, Reuters estimates that US and Brent crude oil prices would be firm in 4Q17. On October 9, 2017, OPEC’s Secretary General said that the production cut deal is helping the oil market rebalance. He added that US crude oil production slowed in 1H17 and global oil demand is improving. All of these factors could support oil prices.

Moves in crude oil prices impact oil and gas producers (IYE) (IXC) like Saudi Aramco, Denbury Resources (DNR), Chevron (CVX), and Goodrich Petroleum (GDP).

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

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