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Crude oil prices ended the week in the green for the second week in a row as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continue to worry markets.
Crude oil prices ended the day on a down note after Israel agreed to delay its planned attack on Gaza following pressure from the United States. But across the week, crude oil prices are still trading up—the second week in a row for price gains.
The WTI crude oil benchmark was trading down $0.35 (-0.39%) at $89.02 per barrel near 5:00 pm ET as the market digested the news that Israel’s movements against Hamas would wait. Brent crude oil was trading down $0.13 (-0.14%) at $92.25 per barrel at that time. For the week, however, both benchmarks were trading up as traders weighed the possibility that Iran could get dragged into the war between Israel and Hamas.
This time last week, WTI crude was trading at $86.35—almost a full $3 below current pricing. Brent crude was trading at $90.89 this time last week.
Tempering today’s prices was news that the United States would lift sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry in exchange for the Maduro regime agreeing to hold elections next year. The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued general licenses authorizing transactions involving the oil and gas sector and removed the ban on secondary trading, the Treasury Department said this week.
Meanwhile, the United States also said it planned on buying another 6 million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserves—but at a price point significantly lower than current market prices.
Crude oil prices also received a boost this week from U.S. crude and product inventory draws.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.