Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: October 23 - 27

Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: October 23 - 27”

Oil prices fluctuated Monday amid concerns about the potential for supply disruptions resulting from tensions in the oil-rich Kurdish region of Iraq. The number of oil drilling rigs fell by seven, or by 0.9 percent, to 736 units.

Oil exports from southern Iraq have fallen by 110,000 barrels per day this month, according to shipping data and an industry source, adding to the drop in flows from OPEC's second-largest producer caused by a shortfall from the northern Kirkuk fields.

Prices are also being supported by the lingering impact on production by Hurricane Harvey which hit the Texas Gulf Coast area almost two months ago and a third week of declines in the number of US drilling rigs. Not even upbeat comments from Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary-General at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, could lift the markets as analysts questioned whether the cartel's efforts to balance the market will do the job.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is up by 0.39 percent and stands at $52.04 per barrel, meanwhile Brent crude jumped by 0.21 percent-at $57.87 a barrel, according to Reuters.

The global benchmark ended the week with an increase of approximately 1%, supported by growing indications that the market was starting to rebalance. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.

Procurement of oil by India in September amounted to 4.83 million barrels per day, which is 4.2 percent higher than the same period of a year ago, and the level of August by nearly 19 percent. It closed up around 3.5% for the week. Geopolitical risk from the Middle East returned to the oil market, but oil prices did not surge as they would have done in previous years, in a sign that the market is still not feeling an imminent shortage of supply.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Still, analysts point to data showing that USA shale oil producers are poised to bring more crude online, which will weigh on oil prices.

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