WTI, Brent Finish Higher on Friday and for the Week


Crude oil futures posted slight gains on Friday to finish higher for the week as additional data continued to support OPEC’s compliance with curbing production to rid the current market glut, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March West Texas Intermediate crude added 29 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $53.83 a barrel. For the week, prices gained around 1.2%.

On the London ICE Futures Exchange, April Brent crude, the global benchmark, tacked on 25 cents, or 0.4%, to end trading at $56.81 a barrel. Brent crude front-month contract prices rose nearly 2% higher for the week.

Analysts believe that OPEC is complying with more than 80% of its targeted production cuts in an attempt to address the excessive supply of crude oil.

On Thursday, data from the Russian Energy Ministry revealed the country’s production of oil dropped by nearly 100,000 barrels a day in January from the previous month. The report raised hope that non-OPEC oil producing nations are adhering to the deal that calls for a collective reduction in output of 1.8 million barrels a day, or roughly 2% of the world’s daily production.

Data on OPEC’s January production will be released in mid-February. OPEC is scheduled to meet in June to review the effectiveness of the pact and the cartel could suggest extending the deal for additional months.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s latest forecast, domestic crude oil production will expand from an average of 8.9 million barrels a day in 2016 to 9.3 million barrels a day in 2018.

Meanwhile, March natural gas ended at $3.063 per million British thermal units, down 12.4 cents, or 3.9%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, natural gas lost roughly 8.8%.


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