Market Overview

This Week In The Oil Market: Crude Hits New Highs, Iran Sanctions Loom

This Week In The Oil Market: Crude Hits New Highs, Iran Sanctions Loom

It was another big week for oil investors, with both WTI and Brent crude hitting their highest prices since 2014.

Here’s a look at the latest key numbers from the oil market and some of the headlines that were moving oil prices this week.

Weekly Reports

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 907,000-barrel increase in U.S. crude supplies during the week ending Sept. 28. Gasoline supply declined by 1.7 million barrels and distillates supply dropped by 1.2 million barrels.

On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported domestic crude oil inventories held by U.S. firms increased by 8 million barrels during the week ending Sept. 28. The increase exceeded analyst expectations of a 2 million rise.

On Friday, Baker Hughes reported U.S. energy companies dropped two oil rigs last week. U.S. drillers added just one new rig in September and only five rigs in the entire third quarter. The total U.S. active oil rig count now stands at 861.


Oil prices traded higher on the week despite news out of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom increased its output to 10.7 million barrels per day in October and expected to increase output further in November. Saudi Arabia’s record monthly output is 10.72 million bpd set back in November 2016.

Oil prices have been driven higher in recent weeks primarily due to a new set of sanctions on Iran set to begin on Nov. 4. This week Jefferies said Iranian exports could fall below 1 million bpd once the sanctions are in place, with China and Turkey potentially the only two nations willing to risk U.S. retaliation for continuing to deal with Iran.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported the Saudi Crown Prince said the highly anticipated Saudi Aramco IPO will proceed by early 2021. In addition, he said OPEC has replaced all of the crude oil production that will be lost when the Iran sanctions are implemented.

Price Action

Here’s a look at how oil prices finished the week. Prices are as of 1:30 p.m. ET and reflect the previous seven days:

  • WTI Crude gained 3.1 percent to $74.73.
  • Brent crude gained 3.4 percent to $84.66.
  • United States Oil Fund LP (NYSE: USO) gained 1.9 percent to $15.78.
  • SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Explore & Prod. (NYSE: XOP) declined 0.7 percent to $43.24.
  • VanEck Vectors Oil SVCS ETF (NYSE: OIH) gained 0.8 percent to $25.42.

Related Links:

Expert: Iranian Sanctions, Trump Demands Make For 'Murky' Oil Market

Bull And Bear: Crude's Late-2018 Rally


Related Articles (USO + XOP)

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