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Affected by the decline in US commercial crude oil inventories exceeding market expectations, international crude oil futures prices rose significantly on the 15th, reaching their highest level since the end of July.
As of the close of the day, the price of light crude oil futures for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 2.15 US dollars to close at US$72.61 per barrel, an increase of 3.05%; the price of London Brent crude oil futures for November delivery rose 1.86 US dollars. It closed at $75.46 per barrel, an increase of 2.53%.
Data released by the US Energy Information Administration on the 15th showed that US commercial crude oil inventories were 417.4 million barrels last week, down 6.4 million barrels from the previous month, exceeding market expectations. At the same time, the US crude oil industry has not recovered from the impact of Hurricane Ida. According to data from the US Agency for Security and Environmental Enforcement, nearly 40% of offshore crude oil and natural gas production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is still shut down. In addition, the operating rate of US refineries is still far from returning to the pre-hurricane level.
Matt Smith, Director of Commodity Research at Clipper Data Corporation, said that the U.S. Gulf Coast is struggling to recover from the impact of the hurricane, and the scale of crude oil production and smelting processing is unlikely to recover effectively in the short term.
Francisco Blanche, Head of Commodities and Derivatives Research at Bank of America, believes that international crude oil prices have been range-bound since the end of June this year due to the previous lack of demand for refined oil. However, as prices for natural gas and coal continue to rise, Crude oil prices have begun to accumulate upward momentum.
Blanche analyzed that the rebound in global crude oil demand and the significant decline in crude oil inventories in major developed countries will bring further support to international oil prices. He judged that the possibility of rising international oil prices in the second half of the year is continuing to increase, especially once this winter is much colder than normal, the global average daily demand for crude oil may increase by 1 million barrels to 2 million barrels, which may continue to push up oil prices.
Analysts also said that the ups and downs in the cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have affected the market’s expectations of the United States and Iran reaching an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue and also supported the rise in international oil prices.