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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Oil Set For Largest Weekly Gain Since October

Oil prices rose early on Friday and were on course to post their biggest weekly gain since October last year as Gulf of Mexico oil operators started evacuating personnel and shutting in production ahead of a hurricane expected to pass through the Gulf in the weekend.

As of the start of trading today, WTI Crude was up 1.66 percent at $68.54 and Brent Crude traded at $72.13, up 1.49 percent.

Despite Thursday’s retreat, oil prices were set on Friday for a large weekly gain of around 9 percent, driven by a more optimistic demand outlook with China reporting earlier this week zero symptomatic COVID cases for the first time in weeks.

A weaker U.S. dollar earlier this week also supported oil prices, which had jumped 5% at close on Monday, rebounding from the longest losing streak since 2019 of seven consecutive settlements in the red, as investor risk appetite increased.

On Tuesday, the prompt Brent Crude price bounced back to above $70 a barrel as a major outage at a Mexican platform lent support to oil prices. A fire on Sunday killed five workers on an offshore platform operated by Mexico’s state oil firm Pemex and injured another six.

The platform and 125 wells went offline, which reduced Mexico’s crude oil production by 421,000 barrels per day (bpd), or around a quarter of the country’s output.  

Crude and gasoline inventory draws, as estimated by the EIA, supported oil prices on Wednesday, while a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on the oil complex on Thursday.

Oil rebounded early on Friday as major oil firms in the Gulf of Mexico started preparing of hurricane Ida, including by evacuating offshore platform workers and shutting in production.

The oil market will be looking at the Jackson Hole summit later on Friday for signs of the Fed’s intentions about the tapering of the asset purchase program, but the key event for oil prices would likely be next week’s OPEC+ meeting on September 1.

“OPEC+ will take some comfort in the fact that we have seen a fairly swift recovery in oil prices from the lows of last week,” ING strategists Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao said on Friday, adding they don’t expect any change to the production policy and continue to believe that OPEC+ will ease supply cuts by 400,000 bpd in September.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on August 27 2021 said:
    The one quintessential factor that determines the direction of oil prices is the fundamentals of the global oil market. The fundamental are very robust underpinned by a global economy growing this year at 6.3% and China’s economy growing at 8.3%. However, the driver for the recent gains by oil prices is China reporting earlier this week zero COVID cases for the first time in weeks.

    And while changes in the values of the US dollar and major outage at a Mexico platform have had some effect on oil prices, such impact remains secondary.

    Therefore, OPEC+ isn’t expected to implement any changes to its production cuts policy aiming to ease supply cuts by 400,000 bpd in September.

    Oil prices are expected to recoup all the losses of the last two weeks with Brent crude touching $80 a barrel before the end of the year. Brent crude could be expected to average $71-72 in 2021 with global oil demand averaging 99-100 million barrels a day (mbd).

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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