Crude futures closed above $90 for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday (Feb. 3), propelled by forecasts that cold weather in the United States may hurt oil production and increase fuel demand.
- WTI crude futures were up $2.01, or 2.3%, at $90.72 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were up $1.64, or 1.8%, at $91.11 a barrel.
Phil Fine, a senior analyst at The Price Futures Group, said the cold weather caused by winter storms in the United States is likely to affect oil production. This could lead to the closure of many refineries. The extreme cold also increases the demand for fuel.
OPEC+’s decision to increase oil production by only 400,000 barrels per day in March continues to have a positive impact on oil prices. The U.S. and its allies have put pressure on OPEC+ to increase oil production more in order to depress oil prices, which have reached their highest level in seven years.
The market was also buoyed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1 million barrels last week.
The situation in Ukraine remains tense. President Putin said earlier this week that the West wants to drag Russia into a war to further sanction Russia. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is moving troops to Ukraine, Germany, and Poland. That makes it appear that the U.S. is still seeking this conflict. In addition, the U.S. has also moved fighter jets to the UAE to help the UAE against the Houthi rebels.
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Friday, February 4, 2022