Crude Oil Prices Went Up Momentarily, More Limited Supply


The crude oil market rose yesterday as tighter supplies were set in February and the market focused on US diplomatic efforts to end the Middle East conflict and ease tensions in major crude-producing regions.

Brent crude rose 87 cents (1.12%) to $78.86 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 88 cents (1.21%) to $73.68. Both contracts rose more than 1% which was the first increase since the beginning of the week.

Inventory data to be released yesterday and today are expected to show continued strong inventories for gasoline and diesel.

Currently, US refineries are overhauling plants across the country following last week's outage at the Whiting, Indiana refinery. This will limit production.

In addition, the efforts of Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State in stopping the Gaza war have also received the attention of the market lately.

Yesterday, he landed in Cairo for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to propose a ceasefire before a more devastating attack by Israel on Rafah, the country's border that shelters about half the population of the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, the United States continues its campaign against the Houthi group in Yemen due to attacks on ships sailing in the Red Sea.

For now, market participants are looking forward to the US crude oil inventory data that will be released on Wednesday. Analysts estimate on average that crude oil inventories rose by about 2.1 million barrels during the week.