Oil Continues Higher
Crude oil futures continued to rally during early Thursday trading to 3 ½ year highs, following a drop in U.S. inventories. Front month Crude is up 2% in the last 5 trading sessions, and 7% in the last 20. There appears to be a solid foundation of supportive forces is this market as of late. Refinery runs have remained strong, and U.S. oil inventories have only climbed by a total of three million barrels so far, compared to over 50 million barrels a year ago. Weekly U.S. gasoline demand hit the highest levels ever seen in April, beating the typical demand levels we usually see in the summer months of June, July, and August according to the Oil Price Information Service. The EIA also reported that gasoline demand hit a record of 9.857 million barrels a day last week.
Meanwhile, OPEC has remained strongly committed to shoring up production for higher prices. In recent briefings, Saudi officials have expressed their intent to see crude prices at $80-$100 a barrel.