Oil Futures Settle Notably Higher For The Day, Gain 5% In Week

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday amid rising hopes about increased demand for energy, and the recent decision of OPEC+ to gradually increase crude output.

Oil also continued to find support from data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday that crude oil stockpiles in the U.S. fell more than expected in the week ended May 29th.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up by $0.81 or 1.2% at $69.62 a barrel, the highest settlement since October 2018.

WTI futures gained about 5% in the week, rising for a second straight week.

Brent crude futures gained $0.65 or 0.9% to $71.96 a barrel, hitting a more than 2-year high.

Data from EIA on Thursday showed crude inventories in the country dropped by 5.1 million barrels last week, more than twice the expected drop.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies have predicted a solid demand in recovery in the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, but stuck to their plan to ease supply controls gradually.

Saudi Arabia increased oil prices for customers in its main market of Asia. State energy firm Saudi Aramco hiked its key Arab Light grade for July shipments to Asia by 20 cents to $1.90 a barrel above a benchmark.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, oil and natural gas rigs count in the U.S. fell this week, dropping for the first time in six weeks. The report said the U.S. oil and gas rig count fell by one to 456 in the week to June 4.

At 456, the total rig count has now risen by 172 or 61% over this time last year. It is also up 87% since falling to a record low of 244 in August 2020.

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