Oil edges higher on tight supply and expected demand uplift
Oil prices rose on Wednesday, buoyed by tight supplies and the prospect of rising demand from the summer driving season in the United States, the world’s biggest crude consumer. Brent crude futures for July rose for a fifth session running, gaining 70 cents, or 0.6%, to $114.26 a barrel by 1333 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for July delivery rose 68 cents, or 0.6%, to $110.45.
Oil near flat after choppy trade; U.S. says export ban not ruled out
Oil prices were near flat on Tuesday after choppy trade as tight supply worries offset concerns over a possible recession and China’s COVID-19 curbs. Brent crude rose 14 cents to settle at $113.56 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 52 cents to settle at $109.77 a barrel. Oil has surged this year with Brent hitting $139 in March, the highest since 2008, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated supply concerns.
How China Could Spark A Major Reversal For Oil Prices
The huge discrepancy between China’s massive economic growth and its minimal oil and gas reserves made it the big global backstop bid for crude oil and many other commodities over the past 20 years or so. According to figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), China surpassed the U.S. as the largest annual gross crude oil importer in the world in 2017, having become the world’s largest net importer of total petroleum and other liquid fuels in 2013. Since the full breakout of the COVID-19 virus across the world in 2020, China’s strictly-enforced ‘zero-COVID’ policy has damaged its economic growth engine and its appetite for the oil and gas used to fuel it.
The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, explained
As the average consumer bears the brunt of rising gas prices, big oil and gas companies have continued to rake in historic profits. Lawmakers alarmed at the stark contrast between the industry’s earnings and consumers’ struggles pushed for — and passed through the US House of Representatives on Thursday — a bill that would make predatory price hikes unlawful and expand federal authority to investigate alleged price gouging. The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act is meant to help alleviate rising gas prices; the national average gas price reached $4.45 per gallon last week — a record high for the US. Some states, like California, have seen gas prices reach $6 per gallon.