Oil prices turned lower, during trading today, Friday, with the strength of the US currency, but crude is heading to achieve gains for the third week in a row, after a noticeable increase during the past 3 sessions.
Crude prices rose earlier in the session, in light of continuing fears that not all US refineries affected by Hurricane Ida will enter production yet.
Oil prices were also affected by the first public sale of Chinese oil reserves.
Oil prices today
Brent crude futures prices – for November delivery – fell 0.2%, to $77.03 a barrel, by 01:35 pm GMT.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures prices – for November delivery – decreased by 0.4%, recording $73.01 a barrel.
Meanwhile, the dollar index – which monitors the performance of the US currency against a basket of 6 major currencies – rose by 0.3%, to reach 93.375 points.
Update – Oil prices rise to the highest level since July… Brent crude exceeds $ 77
Update – Oil prices rise 2.5%, and Brent crude exceeds $ 76
Oil prices rose at the end of trading on Thursday, reaching the highest level since the end of last July, with Brent crude exceeding the $77 barrier, amid a shortage of supplies.
Both the benchmark and the US crude are heading for weekly gains of about 2% and 1.5%, respectively.
The continued suspension of production in a number of American refineries casts a shadow on the supply prices in the market, while American oil companies are trying to recover and commit to shipments.
Analysts from “ANZ” said that the length of the recovery period from the effects of the hurricanes that struck America recently and the strong demand for oil affect oil inventories, and increase the process of withdrawing from American stocks, according to Reuters.
Analysts and traders confirmed that American oil companies and refineries are looking to provide alternatives to American crude, which was affected by hurricanes.
Analysts revealed that US companies are turning to Iraqi and Canadian oil, while Asian buyers are turning to Middle Eastern oil and Russia.
Inventory is down
Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that capacity utilization rates at US East Coast refineries rose to 93%, the highest level since May 2019.
It also announced that inventories fell to their lowest levels in nearly 3 years, and withdrawal rates increased, affected by Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas.
In a parallel context, China’s state-owned PetroChina, private refineries and Hengli Petrochemical Company bought 4 shipments with a total of 4.43 million barrels.