Oil Price Clears $60-mark


The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price spent some time Wednesday above the psychologically meaningful $60-mark but fell short by the end of the session.   

The April WTI contract price gained 80 cents during the midweek session to settle at $59.83 per barrel. The benchmark peaked at $60.12 and bottomed out at $58.39.  

Brent crude oil for May delivery also rose Wednesday, adding 89 cents to settle at $68.50 per barrel. The Brent is up for the third straight day this week.
As Bloomberg reported, oil futures had faltered earlier Wednesday on uncertainty about the progress of trade talks between the United States and China. The wire story went on to mention, however, that U.S. crude inventory figures from the American Petroleum Institute reportedly showed a 2.13-million-barrel decline in oil stocks for last week that mitigated the decline.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday reported that the United States exported 2 million barrels per day of crude oil last year – a 73-percent increase from 2017. EIA also noted that the number of destinations for U.S. crude oil exports increased from 37 to 42 during the period. Canada took in the largest share (19 percent) of U.S. crude exports in 2018, EIA stated. Other countries making up the top five destinations include:

• South Korea (12 percent)
• China (11 percent)
• United Kingdom (8.2 percent)
• Netherlands (7.3 percent)

Like the above oil prices, the reformulated gasoline (RBOB) benchmark finished the day higher. April RBOB futures gained more than two cents Wednesday, settling at $1.92 per gallon. 

Among the commodity prices that Rigzone tracks, only Henry Hub natural gas faltered Wednesday. The April Henry Hub contract lost slightly more than five cents to end