Intermediate and international benchmark US Brent crude oil futures from West Texas ended slightly lower on Friday, under pressure by concern that a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States ended. United and Europe will continue to reduce demand in two of the world’s largest consumers of fuel. Regions.
On Friday, December WTI crude oil futures were at $ 41.12, down $ 0.12 or -0.29% and December Brent crude oil closed at $ 42.93, down $ 0.23 or -0.54%.
New fears over OPEC supply and demand
OPEC +, a group of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers including Russia, fear that a prolonged second wave of the pandemic and a surge in Libyan production could push the oil market towards a surplus next year, according to a confidential document seen by Reuters, a much bleaker outlook than just a month ago.
A panel of OPEC + officials, called the Joint Technical Committee, discussed their worst-case scenario in a virtual monthly meeting on Thursday. This implied that the commercial stocks of major global consumers would remain above the five-year average in 2021, rather than falling below that bar.
The number of U.S. oil and gas rigs increases the most since January
U.S. energy companies this week added the most oil and gas rigs since January, as producers return to the well with crude prices hovering around $ 40 a barrel in recent months, Reuters reported.
The number of oil and gas rigs, an early indicator of future production, rose for the fifth week in a row, increasing from 13 to 282 in the week to Oct. 16, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said on Friday. in its closely monitored report.
The total number of rigs fell to a record high of 244 rigs in the week of August 14, while oil rigs alone fell to a 15-year low at 172 in the same week. , according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1940.
U.S. oil rigs also posted their biggest build this week since January, rising from 12 to 205 this week, their highest level since June. Gas platforms increased from one to 74, according to data from Baker Hughes.
Speculators reduce net long positions in futures and crude options
Fund managers reduced their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options from 9,442 contracts to 288,454 in the week of October 13, the U.S. Commission on Futures Trading said on Friday. commodities (CFTC).
The takeaway from Friday is that the active spread of the pandemic across Europe and North America is likely to dampen the recovery in oil demand and could lead to a new wave of destruction. demand.
For an overview of all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.