Oil Prices Settle Higher
Both the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil benchmarks finished higher Thursday.
The April WTI contract price posted its first day-on-day gain since Monday, rising 44 cents to settle at $56.66 per barrel. The WTI traded within a range from $56.08 to $56.99.
Brent crude oil for May delivery showed upward momentum for the third straight day, adding 31 cents Thursday to settle at $66.30 per barrel.
“Global stocks drew modestly last week but remain elevated year-on-year as U.S. refinery runs are set to pick up,” Mario de la Ossa, energy specialist with Orbital Insight, told Rigzone.
Runs at U.S. refineries go up in March as first-quarter maintenance ends, de la Ossa explained. He added that runs increased by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 – a figure that he pointed out greatly exceeds the 400,000- to 500,000-bpd average gain that typically occurs between this time of year and the end of March.
“Given an 82.6 million year-on-year global stock surplus, the market will be keen to see last week’s 6.5-million draw continue as refineries process more crude,” said de la Ossa. “Our satellite estimates continue to show non-OECD countries driving the stock-builds with China at 67 million barrels over last year’s level.”
The price of a gallon of reformulated gasoline (RBOB) also edged upward Thursday. April RBOB futures gained approximately two cents to end the day at nearly $1.81.
After falling Wednesday, Henry Hub natural gas futures bounced back on Thursday. The April contract price settled at nearly $2.87, reflecting a 2.5-cent day-on-day increase.
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