WTI Crude Oil Price tumbled 4% to around $82 per barrel on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session as a weakening demand outlook retook center stage after geopolitical tensions eased.
Renewed coronavirus outbreaks in top consumer China dashed hopes for a potential ending of its zero-Covid policy, thus clouding the outlook for demand in the world’s biggest crude importer.
Crude Oil price also eased after NATO cleared Russia of the missile attack in Poland, allaying fears of a broader conflict in Europe. On the supply side, flows through the Druzhba pipeline, which carries Russian oil to Hungary, had resumed following a brief power disruption.
Still, investors remained cautious about further supply disruptions as the European Union is set to ban Russian crude flows from December, while OPEC is expected to keep supply tight.
While US natural gas futures extended gains to above $6.3/MMBtu in the third week of November, well above the 4-month low of $5.5/MMBtu hit in late October as heating demand is set to rise this week due to colder weather.
On the other hand, Freeport LNG export plant in Texas may not return to service this month as repair work and efforts to secure regulatory approvals are still ongoing, making more gas available for domestic use.
Meanwhile, EIA data showed US utilities added 64 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas to storage during the week ended November 11th, in line with expectations.
That compares with an increase of 23 bcf in the same week last year and a five-year (2017-2021) average decline of 5 bcf. Stockpiles are close to the five-year average of 3.651 tcf for this time of the year.