Crude oil futures
February US crude oil futures (USL) (UCO) contracts fell 0.09% to $58.04 per barrel at 1:13 AM EST on December 21, 2017. The United States Oil ETF (USO) rose 0.87% to 11.61 on December 20, 2017. It tracks how crude oil futures performed.
The E-mini S&P 500 (SPY) futures contracts for March delivery rose 0.02% to 2,682 at 1:13 AM on December 21, 2017.
US crude oil inventories
On December 20, 2017, the EIA published its crude oil inventory report. It estimated that US crude oil inventories fell by 6.4 MMbbls (million barrels) or 1.5% to 436.4 MMbbls on December 8–15, 2017. The inventories also fell by 48 MMbbls or 10% from the same period in 2016.
Earlier, analysts expected that US crude oil inventories would have fallen by 3.7 MMbbls on December 8–15, 2017. A massive draw in US oil inventories supported crude oil (DBO) prices on December 20, 2017.
However, US oil (UWT) prices have fallen 1.5% since the highs on November 24, 2017. Moves in oil prices impact energy producers (XOP) (XLE) like Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO), Denbury Resources (DNR), and SM Energy (SM).
US crude oil inventories fell for the fifth straight week. They have fallen by 99 MMbbls or ~19% from their peak. So far, inventories have fallen 9.8% in 2017. US oil prices have risen ~10% in 2017. The fall in inventories is bullish for oil prices.
However, US oil inventories are ~41 MMbbls or 10.3% above their five-year average for the week ending December 15, 2017. It’s bearish for oil (USO) prices. If the difference lessens, it’s a bullish sign for oil (UCO) prices.
Next, we’ll discuss US crude oil production.