U.S. crude oil rises, tops $82 per barrel ahead of Fourth of July holiday

Environment

Crude oil storage tanks are seen in an aerial photograph at the Cushing oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S., April 21, 2020. 
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U.S. crude oil futures on Monday rose ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, after booking a 6% gain last month on the back of fears of a wider Middle East war and expectations of rising summer fuel demand.

Though oil prices have been steadily rising, the average price for a gallon of gasoline stands at $3.49 nationwide, down about 5 cents from last month.

Here are today’s energy prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate August contract: $82.04 per barrel, up 50 cents, or 0.61%. Year to date, U.S. oil has gained 14.5%.
  • Brent September contract: $85.58 per barrel, up 58 cents, or 0.68%. Year to date, the global benchmark is ahead by 11.1%.
  • RBOB Gasoline August contract: $2.53 per gallon, up 1.43%. Year to date, gasoline is up 20.5%.
  • Natural Gas August contract: $2.55 per thousand cubic feet, down 1.92%. Year to date, gas is ahead by 1.4%.

Oil market speculators have added long positions, betting on higher prices as tensions between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon have “proven to be a major driver of the strong price action of late,” commodity strategists with TD Securities told clients in a note on Friday.

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wti vs. brent

“However, this increase in risk premium is only likely to support prices, rather than fuel a renewed rally,” the TD strategists said.

JPMorgan, meanwhile, is forecasting a global oil liquids deficit of 1 million barrels per day, or bpd, in the third quarter and a large 1.9 million bpd drawdown in August.

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