Crude oil prices inched up Friday, as strong U.S. economic data boosted demand feelings, and as production drops in sanctions-hit Iran and Venezuela tightened the market, Kallanish Energy reports.
Oil futures posted weekly declines on a jump in U.S. crude inventories reported recently.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 13 cents higher, at $61.94 per barrel. WTI fell 2.2% last week, its second consecutive weekly decline.
Brent crude oil futures rose 10 cents Friday, to $70.85/Bbl. The international benchmark ended the week 1.8% lower, its first weekly loss in five weeks.
A U.S. jobs report showed growth surging in April, while the unemployment rate dropped to a more-than 49-year low of 3.6%, increased the expectation crude demand would remain strong, analysts said.
Equities rallied and the U.S. dollar weakened following the report, which also supported oil futures. Oil prices tend to follow moves in equities, and demand for the U.S. dollar-linked commodity often increases when the greenback slips.
Gains in the oil market were held in check by a spike in U.S. crude inventories and rising oil production, which hit a record 12.3 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) two weeks ago.
Exports of U.S. crude broke through 3 Mmbpd in November for the first time ever, and hit a record 3.6 Mmbpd earlier this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and supply cuts by Opec+, which includes most Opec members and a number of other producer-nations led by Russia, helped to tighten the market and support prices.
Production from Saudi Arabia could edge higher in June to meet domestic demand for power generation, though output will remain within its quota in the Opec+ pact, sources familiar with the kingdom’s policy told Reuters.
The kingdom is expected to produce roughly 10 Mmbpd in May, slightly higher than in April, but still below its 10.3 Mmbpd quota under the Opec+ deal.
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