The Christmas week began with a slight increase in oil quotes.

Futures for Brent crude rose in price by 0.27%, to $ 63.40 per barrel, while WTI futures rose 0.40% to $ 57.55 per barrel.

Before that, on Friday Baker Hughes reported that according to the results of the working week that ended on December 15, the number of drilling rigs in the country decreased by one piece, or 0.1%, to 930 units. In annual terms, the number of drilling rigs increased by 293 units, or by 45.9%. The number of oil drilling rigs fell by four, or by 0.5%, to 747 units. The number of gas production facilities increased by three - to 183 units. At the same time, investors continued to monitor the situation with the repair of part of the Forties pipeline in the UK, which delivers oil from 85 fields in the North Sea and typically pumps about 450,000 barrels of oil per day. On the eve it was reported that oil supplies from Forties were detained for at least two weeks.

News on the closure of the North Sea pipeline Forties in the UK continued to support world oil prices on Tuesday. Reuters agency quoted the opinion of the OANDA’s senior market analyst that the closure of the Forties pipeline will continue to support the price of Brent crude. The restraining factor was the published data of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy. According to the agency's forecast, the production of shale oil in the largest oil and gas producing regions of the US in January 2018 will grow by 94 thousand barrels per day, compared to December this year, to 6.408 million barrels. At the moment, the production estimate is 6,314 million barrels per day.

The next day, oil prices rose after official data showed more significant than expected reduction in oil reserves in the US. Published on Wednesday, the data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that crude oil stocks fell by 6.5 million barrels in the week of December 9-15, exceeding forecasts of both analysts and the estimates of the American Petroleum Institute, presented the day before. At the same time, gasoline stocks increased by 1.2 million barrels, and distillate stocks increased by 800,000 barrels, which could put pressure on oil prices if this trend continues.

On Thursday, the day began with a slight decline in quotes. However, by the evening, oil prices in the US rose after multidirectional dynamics during the day. Participants returned to the market after lowering prices, which occurred on news about the possible resumption of the work of the Forties pipeline in the near future.

The week ended with a slight decline in oil prices in a small trading volume. Analysts noted the fact that traders left the market earlier than usually, while some withdrawed funds on the eve of the holiday weekend. In general, it is noted that oil quotes are generally stable after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil-producing countries (including Russia) agreed last month to extend the deal to reduce oil production by the end of next year.

 

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