Oil Prices Surge with RBOB Following Suit
At about 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday, U.S. oil prices surpassed the $90/bbl mark, marking a strong end to the week. The November contract for West Texas Intermediate crude surged by 94 cents to $90.31/bbl, while the December contract rose by 97 cents to $89.34/bbl. Notably, the front-month contract closed the week nearly $3/bbl higher than its starting point.
Brent crude also experienced positive gains, with the December contract increasing by 99 cents to reach $93.37/bbl. Meanwhile, January prices rose by $1.03 to $92.04/bbl.
ULSD Contracts Swing But Head into Weekend with Losses
Although ULSD contracts fluctuated between gains and losses throughout the week, they are set to conclude the week with losses despite today’s gains. The November contract saw a rise of 3.08 cents to $3.2038/gal, coming in approximately 0.8 cents below the closing point of last Friday. Similarly, December prices rose by 3.82 cents to $3.1156/gal.
RBOB Futures Paint a Positive Picture
RBOB futures are on track for significant week-to-week gains, as the front-month contract climbed by 2.26 cents to $2.3843/gal, almost 12 cents higher than last week. The December contract followed suit with gains of 2.45 cents to reach $2.3675/gal.
Energy Markets Face Competing Factors
Energy markets have experienced a tumultuous week, as a number of factors continue to impact the industry. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, leading to worries about tightening supply. On the other hand, news that the U.S. is easing some sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports, coupled with uncertainties surrounding future actions by the U.S. Federal Reserve to combat inflation, have raised worries about slowing demand amidst increased supply.
Oil prices on Friday are further bolstered by the Biden administration’s announcement that it intends to purchase 6 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, at an average price of around $79 per barrel.
Varying Movement in Gasoline and Diesel Prices
Spot markets across the country have witnessed significant fluctuations in gasoline and diesel prices. In the Gulf Coast region, a change in specification has led to a drop of over 4 cents per gallon in RBOB prices, making it the most affordable in the country at approximately $2.25 per gallon. Conversely, concerns over supply and refinery issues have pushed diesel prices in Group 3 upwards by around 11 cents, with prices nearing a one-year high.
Renewable Identification Number Prices Experience Volatility
After witnessing gains earlier in the week, prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) have started to decline. D6 ethanol-based RINs have dropped by 1.37 cents, while D4 biodiesel RINs have fallen by 1.38 cents.