Can WTI Break Out Of The High $40s?

11 Sep 2017   Prices

Comparative inventories have fallen dramatically since mid-February yet oil prices languish in the mid-to-upper $40 range. But what will it take for oil prices to break out of the $45 to $55 range? WTI prices increased from below $45 to almost $55 per barrel based on expectation that OPEC cuts would quickly balance international oil markets and result in near-term higher oil prices. While that expectation lasted, prices remained near $55 from late November 2016 until early March 2017 (Figure 1). (Click to enlarge) Figure 1. WTI Prices Have Been Largely Range-Bounded Between $45 and $55/Barrel Since The OPEC-NOPEC Production Cuts. Source: EIA, Bloomberg and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Prices adjusted downward four times between March and August as it became clear that output cuts were not enough to produce a meaningful price recovery. Since mid-August, markets have rallied back to the ~$49 per barrel price average since November. […]

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