Crude Oil Up 8.6% For Biggest Weekly Gain Of The Year

Crude Oil Up 8.6% For Biggest Weekly Gain Of The Year

Crude oil prices settled higher in futures market on Thursday, as support from four weeks of falling USA crude supplies contributed to a fourth-consecutive session of gains.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $48.62 a barrel. The deal to curb output propelled crude prices above $58 a barrel in January but they have since slipped back to a $45 to $50 range as the effort to drain global inventories has taken longer than expected.

Adam Wise, senior managing director at John Hancock Financial Services Inc., summarized the reasons for trader optimism: he said the market is digesting "very strong draws in inventories across the board; we've also seen comments out of Saudi Arabia supporting prices in the form of export reduction".

The U.S. Department of Energy reported that commercial oil reserves in the country for the week ended July 21 fell by 7.2 million barrels, or 1.5 percent - to 483.4 million barrels.




Both Brent and WTI contracts are set to post their biggest weekly percentage gains this year with a rise of more than 8 percent. The committee did not back capping Libyan output as it said its production was unlikely to exceed 1 million bpd in the near future compared to its capacity of 1.4 million-1.6 million bpd before unrest erupted in 2011 and plunged the nation into chaos.

Supply interruptions from Venezuela also boosted oil. This report details current and projected cargo flows - including Middle East exports to the US - along with a host of trends, from OPEC to Venezuela to China.

Despite some bullish signs, "the latest price rise is on a fragile footing", Commerzbank analysts contend, noting OPEC production likely would rise in the coming months as the group has not officially capped output from Libya and Nigeria.

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