Economic growth in the United States slowed less than expected in the second quarter, strengthening the outlook for oil consumption but, elsewhere, disappointing economic data has increased concerns about slower growth.
Several of those companies sport large dividends. Oil diverted into storage has grown exponentially, and key hubs have seen their storage tanks filling up rather quickly.
Meanwhile, the OPEC oil cartel has extended its oil production cuts by nine months, into early In other words, the outlook could change quickly.
Analysts also noted the market was up on optimism over U. Libya's Sharara oilfield, the country's largest, shut after a problem on Tuesday with a valve on the pipeline linking it to the Zawiya oil terminal. Once the supply of cheap oil is exhausted, the price could conceivably rise if the only remaining oil is in the tar sands.
Like any product, the laws of supply and demand influence prices; a combination of stable demand and oversupply has put pressure on oil prices over the last five years.
There are also ongoing concerns that oil storage is running low, which impacts the level of investments moving into the oil industry.