The fall and rise of oil prices – Weekly recap 8-12 August

Crude oil prices started the week with very sharp falls over the free fall in the major stock markets; the falls were probably stimulated by the news of  the downgrade in US’s credit rating; this news came after the House of Representative approved on August 2nd to raise the US debt ceiling. Despite the shaky start, crude oil prices bounce back mainly during the second half of the week and eventually finished the week above its initial starting point. By the end of the week, Brent oil price inclined by 4.15%, and WTI spot oil rose by 5.06%, resulting in the spread between Brent oil and WTI oil reaching $21.96/b on Friday. 

 Let’s review the changes during last week (August 8th to August 12th) of crude oil prices (Brent oil and WTI), and present a summary of the recent EIA petroleum report:

Crude oil prices – highlights


table crude spot oil prices - 8-12  August  2011

WTI spot oil price inclined during last week by 5.06%; on the other hand, its weekly average price fell by 8.74% as it reached $82.92 per barrel, compared with last week’s $90.85 per barrel. The average daily percent change of crude oil price (WTI) was -0.27%.

 NYMEX Futures Price (September delivery) rose by 5.01% during the week, and reached $82.92/b on Friday, August 12th.

Brent spot oil price also inclined by 4.15% during the week, but the average price fell by 6.42% compared with previous week’s average.

 The difference between the Brent and WTI spot prices moderately inclined during the week and averaged at $22.50; it finished the week at $21.96.

The high gap between Brent oil and WTI spot oil continues to suggest that the European oil market is still tighter than in the U.S. oil market.

Crude oil charts

The following chart shows last week’s trend of WTI spot oil price, NYMEX Futures Prices (September delivery) and Europe Brent spot oil price:

In the chart both Brent spot oil price and WTI spot oil presented an upward trend during most of the week mainly on Thursday.  


Crude spot oil prices WTI BRENT charts -  8-12  August  2011

 The second chart shows the daily percent changes (i.e. changes around the trend) of crude oil price (WTI spot oil, WTI future, Brent spot oil):



Crude spot oil price chart WTI Brent oil - percent change  8-12  August  2011

As seen, WTI spot oil and Brent oil started the week with very sharp falls, but by Wednesday already changed direction to gains; by the end of the week, crude oil prices finished with moderate changes.

 Petroleum Stocks –highlights:

According to the recent EIA report of the US oil market, for the week ending on August 5th, U.S. Petroleum and oil stocks sharply declined by 10.73 million barrels to 1,796 million barrels.

The chart below shows the petroleum and oil stocks have had an upward trend in recent week despite the recent huge extraction last week; the WTI crude oil prices sharply declined last week.

 Weekly U.S. Ending Stocks Crude Oil and WTI spot oil price 2011 August 11

For the complete petroleum stocks review see here.


 For further reading:

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