Skip to main content

Oil futures gained nearly 2 per cent on Friday as comments from a top U.S. official raised optimism for a U.S.-China trade deal, but worries about increasing crude supplies capped prices.

Brent crude gained $1.02, or 1.6 per cent, to settle at $63.30 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose 95 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to settle at $57.72 a barrel.

Both benchmarks posted their second straight weekly gain. Brent rose 1.3 per cent, and WTI gained 0.8 per cent.

Story continues below advertisement

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview on Fox Business Network that there was a very high probability the United States would reach a final agreement on a phase one trade deal with China.

“We’re down to the last details now,” Ross said.

U.S.-China trade talks were set to continue with a telephone call on Friday.

A monthly report from the International Energy Agency weighed on prices, after it estimated that non-OPEC supply growth would surge to 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) next year compared with 1.8 million bpd in 2019, citing production from the United States, Brazil, Norway and Guyana.

“Today’s monthly IEA release offered some bearish aspects in the form of an unexpected upward adjustment in non-OPEC oil supply growth for next year that briefly forced WTI values to below yesterday’s lows,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo had painted a more upbeat picture earlier this week, saying growth in rival U.S. production would slow in 2020, although a report by the group had also said demand for OPEC oil was expected to dip.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said demand for its crude would average 29.58 million bpd next year, 1.12 million bpd less than in 2019, pointing to a 2020 surplus of about 70,000 bpd.

Story continues below advertisement

OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+ which have cut supply this year to prop up prices, are expected to discuss output policy at a meeting on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna. Their existing production deal runs until March.

U.S. production has continued climbing. The country’s crude oil output hit a record 13 million bpd this month and will grow more than expected in 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a forecast issued on Wednesday.

However, rising U.S. output and competition from production in Brazil, Norway and Guyana next year has been squeezing profits for U.S. shale producers, which plan another spending freeze in 2020 and a slowdown in production growth.

U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a fourth week in a row, cutting 10 oil rigs in the week to Nov. 15, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said on Friday. The total count is now 674, the lowest since April 2017.

Money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions by 39,995 contracts to 169,386 in the week to Nov. 12, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies