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Economy in Brief

U.S. Crude Oil Prices Surge after Attack
by Tom Moeller  September 17, 2019

After an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility on Sunday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil strengthened to $62.90 per barrel yesterday from $54.85 on Friday. The outsized jump placed the price of crude oil slightly below the high of $63.86 per barrel reached in April. The price of Brent crude oil jumped to $68.79 per barrel yesterday from $61.24 averaged last week. Last week, the price of WTI crude oil had increased to an average $56.19 per barrel (-18.5% y/y) from $55.73 in the previous week.

In the week ended September 16, the U.S. pump price for gasoline held steady at $2.55 per gallon (-10.2% y/y). Haver Analytics adjusts these price figures for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price increased to $2.43 per gallon from $2.41 in the previous week.

The price of natural gas jumped to $2.64 per mmbtu (-9.9% y/y) in the week ended September 13 from $2.46/mmbtu in the previous week. This was the highest price since late-May and the fifth consecutive weekly increase. Yesterday, the price rose to $2.75 per mmbtu.

For the four-weeks ending September 6, U.S. gasoline demand edged 0.2% higher y/y. Total petroleum product demand rose 0.4% y/y. U.S. gasoline inventories fell 3.0% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products increased 2.3% y/y. Crude oil input to U.S. refineries fell 1.4% y/y.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. More detail on prices, demand, production and inventories, including regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 9/16/2010 9/9/2019 9/2/2019 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.55 2.55 2.56 -10.2 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 56.19 55.73 55.22 -18.5 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.64 2.46 2.28 -9.9 3.18 2.99 2.51
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