By Sibel Morrow – September 18, 2020
(Anadolu Agency) – Crude oil prices increased during the week ending Sept. 18, with storm-related shutdowns on many offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico and with a confirmed commitment to the OPEC+ oil cut pact during its meeting on Thursday.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $39.88 at 1220 GMT on Friday, posting a 7.02% increase from Monday when it traded at $42.68 per barrel at 0625 GMT.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $40.50 at the same time on Friday relative to $37.45 a barrel on Monday.
Oil markets started the week with rising oil prices as a second storm in the Gulf of Mexico forced the shutdown of many offshore platforms and oil rigs, reducing output which supported higher oil prices.
Prices rose to $43.79 per barrel on Friday following Thursday’s meeting of OPEC+, which resulted in full commitment to its oil cut agreement and compensation mechanism, and eased oversupply concerns.
The uptick in prices was also supported by positive developments about an antibody-drug to prevent and treat COVID-19. These developments also helped abate lingering demand concerns amid second wave coronavirus fears.
The more-than-expected draw on US commercial crude inventories, which fell by 4.4 million barrels to the lowest level since April also bolstered prices, signaling a demand rebound in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer.
However, the resumption of production from Libyan National Oil, after armed groups affiliated with Halifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army lifted the blockade on oil ports and wells, cut some of the previous price gains.