Baker Hughes reported that US energy firms added oil rigs for the first time in four weeks

Recap: Oil futures ended with a modest gain on Friday, but registered a loss for a second week in a row as traders continued to weigh the prospects for energy demand in the wake of the China-U.S. trade deal and Senate approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact this week. The rebound comes after oil prices spent the first half of the week moving lower. WTI for February delivery ended little changed, up 2 cents, or 0.03%, to settle at $58.54 a barrel, after rising 1.2% on Thursday. March Brent advanced 23 cents, or 0.4%, to end at $64.85 a barrel following a 1% gain a day ago. February RBOB fell 0.9% to $1.6406 a gallon, building a weekly loss of 1.1%, while February heating oil shed 0.04% to $1.8592 a gallon, for a weekly loss of 3.6%.

Technical Analysis: With the lack of any fresh fundamentals in the crude oil market, WTI is most likely to remain range bound between $60.00 and $56.25. The 10-day moving average, currently set at $59.22, will provide the first line of resistance, with additional resistance set at $59.84. Support is set at $57.44, the 200-day moving average and below that at $56.25.

Fundamental News: Baker Hughes reported that US energy firms added oil rigs for the first time in four weeks. Companies added 14 oil rigs in the week ending January 17th, bringing the total count to 673.   

North Dakota’s Industrial Commission reported that oil production in North Dakota fell by 3,000 bpd to 1.515 million bpd in November. 

Canadian oil producers and refiners cut processing rates this week as extreme cold weather impacts Western Canada.  Syncrude and North West Refining have declared force majeure.  Meanwhile, Shell Canada’s Scotford facility is operating at reduced rates.   

California on Friday sued the Trump administration over its plan to open up more than a million acres of public lands in the state to oil and gas drilling.  The lawsuit alleges the US Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately consider the adverse effects drilling would have on the people and environment in eight Central California counties. 

Russia’s Gazprom Neft believes Russia’s cooperation with OPEC on output will continue into the long term. 

IIR Energy reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 659,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending January 17th, cutting available refining capacity by 335,000 bpd from the previous week.  Offline capacity is expected to increase to 884,000 bpd in the week ending January 24th, and fall to 758,000 bpd in the week ending January 31st. 

China’s Vice Premier, Liu He, said the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal between China and the US created a beneficial condition for future Sino-US relations. 

International Monetary Fund Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the signing of a Phase 1 trade agreement between the US and China will reduce, but not eliminate, uncertainty that has impacted global economic growth. 

Early Market Call – as of 8:30 AM EDT

WTI – Feb $58.97, up 38 cents

RBOB – Feb $1.6516, up 1.06 cents

HO – Feb $1.8795, up 2.06 cents

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