Oil Futures Prices Rally Friday

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest to delivery traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange settled higher Friday but for the week posted across-the-board losses tracking a volatile week of paper trading on the MERC.

Analysts said Thursday's announcement that Saudi Arabia would cut August crude exports 100,000 bpd in response to growing concerns it had oversupplied the markets generated fresh buying in West Texas Intermediate futures and a rebound in the September Brent futures contract.

On the week, the now-expired August WTI contract lost $0.55cts and the September Brent contract eased by a fraction.

August ULSD futures closed the week down 2.9cts, and August RBOB futures ended the week down 3.77cts.

The Energy Information Administration Wednesday reported supplies at Cushing fell for the ninth straight week to 24.858 million bbl from 25.718 million bbl the week prior. EIA also said U.S. crude production reached 11.0 million bpd, the first time ever, with analysts pointing to increased U.S. shale output.

Markets remain on edge, analysts say, because as of November 4, a fresh round of oil sanctions take versus Iran.

The International Energy Agency reported Iranian crude exports declined by 230,000 bpd in June versus May figures on an estimated 50% decline in purchases out of Europe.

At the 2:30 p.m. EDT NYMEX settlement, the August WTI futures contract expired posting a $1.00 advance at $70.46 bbl, while ICE September Brent crude futures settled 49cts bbl higher to $73.07 bbl. August RBOB futures rallied 2.55cts gallon to settle at $2.0690 gallon, and August ULSD futures finished formal session trading 1.43cts higher at $2.1044 gallon.

Brian Whary can be reached at brian.whary@dtn.com