Crude Oil Prices – Weekly Recap 12-16 December

Crude oil prices sharply declined during last week following many commodities traders’ disappointment from the FOMC meeting for not issuing another stimulus plan that may have pushed up the price of commodities. The recent OPEC meeting ran smoothly as the OPEC members agreed to keep production levels unchanged in 2012; the IEA revised down its projection on the oil demand, which may have contributed to the downfall of crude oil prices; The Philly Fed Survey was positive for December and improved from November and thus may have helped to curb the falls of crude oil prices by the end of the week. 

By the end of the week, WTI oil price dropped by 4.34% and Brent price by 2.49%; as a result, the difference between Brent oil and WTI oil rose to $10.53/b on Friday. 

Here is a short review of the development of crude oil price (Brent oil and WTI), and a summary of the recent EIA crude oil and petroleum stockpiles report for the week of December 12th to December 16th:

Crude Oil Prices – Highlights

table crude oil prices - 12-16 December   2011WTI oil price (spot) sharply declined during last week by 4.34%; its weekly average price also decreased by 4.05% to $96.05 per barrel, compared with last week’s $100.10 per barrel. The average daily percent change of crude oil price (WTI) was -1.18%.

NYMEX Futures Price (January delivery) also slipped by 4.34% during the week, and reached $93.53/b on Friday, December 16th  

Europe Brent oil price also dropped during the week by 2.49% and the average price slipped by 3.25% compared with previous week’s average.

The difference of Brent over WTI spot prices changed direction and moderately rose during the week; its average premium was $9.46; it finished the week at $10.53. The recent OPEC meeting didn’t affect much the crude oil prices, but may affect the future development of the premium of Brent over WTI if OPEC won’t keep its current oil production levels.

Crude Oil Charts

The following charts show last week’s (for the week ending on December 16th) changes of WTI spot oil price, NYMEX Futures Prices (Short term delivery) and Europe Brent spot oil price:

The chart below shows the development of WTI and Brent oil prices during the week: as in the chart, WTI and Brent oil prices sharply declined on Wednesday.

Crude oil prices WTI BRENT oil  chart -12-16 December  2011The second chart presents the daily percent changes (i.e. changes around the trend) of crude oil prices (WTI spot oil, WTI future, Brent spot oil):


Crude oil prices chart WTI Brent oil - percent change  12-16 December   2011Crude oil prices sharply dropped on Wednesday by nearly 5%, while the sharpest gains of the week came a daily earlier on Tuesday.

Crude Oil Stockpiles –Highlights:

According to the last EIA report on the U.S Petroleum market, for the week ending on December 9th, U.S. Petroleum and crude oil stockpiles rose by 2 million barrels to reach 1,751.93 million barrels. The current oil stockpiles are still 59,767 million barrels below oil stockpiles levels recorded during the same week in 2010.

For the complete crude oil stockpiles review see here.

For further reading:

Previous issues of weekly report: