US West Texas Intermediate and International Benchmark Brent crude futures are able to settle the week higher after beating new heights the year before the week. But Friday's price hint suggests that investors are still waiting for a bullish catalyst to trigger another wave to the upside and eventually break out of their trading area in a decisive way. 1
The OPEC-led production cut that started January 1 and US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela has borne crude oil prices for months, but gains have been limited by concerns over rising US inventories and production. But these concerns were lifted on Wednesday, at least temporarily, with the release of a Hawaiian EIA inventory report.
Wednesday's weekly EIA report for uninterrupted March 8 showed US commercial crude oil inventory as refiners hiked output.
Raw stocks fell by 3.9 million barrels in the past week to 449.07 million barrels, compared to analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels. US crude oil production is also dipped and falls by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12 million bpd.
In Venezuela, oil production and exports continued to be disturbed by a political and economic crisis that has caused massive power outages and supply shortages. According to reports, two storage tanks exploded on a heavy upgrade project in eastern Venezuela on …