This passing week had many news items that caused turbulence in the financial markets and might have affected the crude oil market as well such as the ongoing fights in Libya, and the recent turmoil from the Far East – the tsunami attack on Japan (for more on these subject see here).
Here is a weekly recap for March 7th to 11th on the main changes in crude oil price, recapping the highlights in the recent EIA petroleum report and the effects of the news from Libya and Japan on the oil market:
Following the tsunami attack on Japan over the weekend, there are reports of over 10,000 casualties from a single region in Japan that suffered from the tsunami attack. Furthermore, it was reported that the Nuclear Reactor in Fukushima suffered a partial meltdown.
Qaddafi‘s air strikes managed to ward off the rebels from their front lines in Ras Lanuf after the air force bombed Oil pipeline leading to Es Sider town and storage tanks in Ras Lanuf oil terminal, the eastern part of Libya.
As a result there are reports that Libya’s oil output declined to one third, from 1.6 million barrels per day to nearly 500,000 barrels per day.
Due to the recent surge in gasoline prices in the US, President Barack Obama said over the weekend that the US is ready to tap in to the US’s oil reserves to deal with any disruption that might occur in oil supply. He also said that the Justice department will keep close tabs any evidence of a price hike in oil and gasoline.
Crude oil price
* This figure is calculated based on the percent change from the price at the beginning of the week compare to end of the week
Crude oil price (WTI spot) weekly average rose by 2.6% to reach an average 103.73$/b compare to last week’s average price of 101.05$/b. On average, crude oil price (WTI) daily change was -0.61%, however its price declined by 4% from beginning to end of the week.
NYMEX Futures Price (future for April) much like WTI spot price, fell by 4.06% from beginning to end of the week as it settled on 101.16 $/ on Friday – the lowest level all week.
These figures show that WTI (spot and future) price are at a higher price level than they were in the previous week, however during the end of the week crude oil price fell precipitately, partly is probably related to the recent tsunami attack in Japan which shook the entire financial markets.
Europe Brent spot price, also declined by 3.16% from beginning to end of the week, but its average weekly price was 114.55$/b and remained nearly unchanged from last week’s average.
The gap between the Brent and WTI spot prices was on Friday 11.74$/b.
Crude oil charts
The following charts show the changes of WTI spot price, NYMEX Futures Prices (future for February) and Europe Brent spot price:
The chart above shows that WTI and Brent prices had a downward trend during most of the week, even if it wasn’t a steady decline for Brent oil.
The final graph shows crude oil price (WTI spot, WTI future, Brent spot) daily percent change for this passing week:
The graph above shows the erratic behavior of Brent oil and the steady drop in WTI prices.
Petroleum Stocks –highlights:
In my recent review on last week’s EIA report petroleum stocks, consumption and production in the US, oil stocks keep falling for the fourth straight week; last week they have declined by 0.4%, a decrease of nearly 6.2 million barrels of crude oil to reach 1,771 million barrels – the lowest level since March 2010.
This fall is related to the decline of Stocks of Total Gasoline by 2.3% or 5.5 million barrels– reaching 229 million barrels.
Crude oil imports have decreased during the week of March 4th (4 week average) by 1.8% compare to the week of 25/2/2011, and also declined by 7.6% compare to last year’s same time.
In total, there was a fall in petroleum stocks, imports and refineries inputs and US production remained unchanged.
For further reading (on this site):
Previous issues of weekly report:
- Oil prices rise as Libyan turmoil progress – Weekly recap 28 Feb 4 Mar
- Oil prices soared as Libyan riots continued – Weekly recap 21-25 February
- Oil prices’ erratic behavior – Weekly recap 14-18 February