Oil prices held steady on Thursday

Recap: Oil prices held steady on Thursday with spot month futures in WTI unable to sustain itself above $64.00 a barrel and June Brent holding close to $72.00 a barrel. May WTI seesawed in a tight trading range around the unchanged level ahead of the Easter weekend, as traders continue to grapple with an array of news, some supportive and some less supportive. May WTI was trading at $63.92 a barrel by 2:20 EDT, up 17 cents, while June Brent was up 29 cents, trading at $71.93 a barrel. May WTI settled at $64.00 a barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.38%, posting its seventh straight week of gains, the longest streak of weekly gains in almost five years. June Brent tacked on 35 cents, or 0.49%, to settle at $71.97 a barrel. Brent gained 0.6% for the week, its fourth consecutive weekly rise. May RBOB rose 3 cents, or 1.5%, to $2.072 a gallon, for a weekly climb of 1.7%, while May heating oil settled at $2.071 a gallon, up a fraction of a cent for the week.

Technical Analysis: WTI finished the week in the sideways pattern created by the range of $64.79 and $63.00 as it consolidates below key resistance set at $65.00. Coming into next week, we would look for a run at $65.00. A break above this level will set a bullish tone for this market, with possible advancements toward $67.50. Support is set at $63.22 and $62.00.

Fundamental News: According to Kpler, about 1 million tons of diesel are set to be exported from Asia and the Middle East to Europe in April.

Genscape reported that crude oil stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma in the week ending Tuesday, April 16th increased by 127,434 barrels on the week and by 664,981 barrels from Friday, April 12th to 46,816,663 barrels.

Baker Hughes reported that US energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in three weeks as production growth forecasts from shale fields continue to fall.  The number of rigs searching for oil fell by eight in the week ending April 18th to 825. 

The Joint Organizations Data Initiative reported that Saudi Arabia’s oil exports in February fell to 6.977 million bpd from 7.254 million bpd in January. 

Kuwait Oil Co said a limited fire that had broken out at a pump at Kuwait’s Burgan oilfield on Wednesday has been brought under control. 

Gasoline stocks independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp refining and storage hub in the week ending April 18th fell by 9.96% on the week and by 22.89% on the year to 967,000 tons.  Gasoil stocks increased by 2.6% on the week and by 21.93% on the year to 2.802 million tons, while fuel oil stocks fell by 11.69% on the week and by 30.13% on the year to 793,000 tons. 

TransCanada Corp launched an open season to solicit binding commitments from interested parties for transportation services of crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to markets on the US Gulf Coast for incremental capacity on Marketlink. 

Canada’s Natural Resources Ministry extended the deadline for a decision on whether to push forward with the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline to June 18th from mid-May.  The Trans Mountain expansion project would nearly triple the amount of crude oil carried from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s coast.  Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, said the delay would give the government more time to consult with indigenous groups impacted by the pipeline. 

Early Market Call – as of 8:40 AM EDT

WTI – May $65.47, up $1.52

RBOB – May $2.1259, up 5.33 cents

HO – May $2.1039, up 3.38 cents

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