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Decoding the Energy Sector’s Key Events This Week

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May. 28 2019, Published 8:03 a.m. ET

Key energy events

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) is scheduled to release its oil and natural gas inventory data on May 30. The data will likely be a short-term driver for oil and natural gas prices. Any rise in US crude oil inventories will likely be a concern for oil prices. However, if the weekly US crude oil production declines, it might boost oil prices.

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Rig count

Apart from the inventory data, the rig count report later this week will likely be important for the energy sector. Last week, the US oil rig count was at the lowest level since March 30, 2015. The oil rig count is expected to fall more. The report will be important for ETFs like the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH). So far in May, OIH has fallen 17.2%—the steepest decline among energy subsector ETFs. A decline of 8.4% in US crude oil prices and the lower oil rig count could be behind OIH’s decline.

EIA’s monthly production data

On May 31, the EIA is scheduled to release its Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production report. The report will be important for oil and natural gas prices. With the fall in the oil rig count, the EIA is expected to report the third consecutive monthly decline in US oil production. The lower oil rig count might help reduce natural gas supplies. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) invest in energy stocks. Any changes in energy commodities will likely influence XOP and XLE, which fell 12.4% and 6.8%, respectively, in May.

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