During the week, the crazy actions at the end of each day shook the oil market.
The oil market had a roller coaster effect in the last 30 minutes of each trade day this week. Traders have adjusted their positions in a market where commercial users, which are vital for a stable market like oil companies, have largely disappeared.
Oil prices rose sharply on Thursday after successive sales days, but the rally did not last.
Oil prices fluctuated due to the doubling of falling demand due to the coronavirus and the excessive supply created by Saudi Arabia and Russia struggling to seize the majority of its market share. U.S. crude futures have lost more than 50% in the past two weeks, and more brutal fluctuations are likely.
US crude prices fell 29% weekly, that is the steepest since the beginning of the US / Iraq Gulf War in 1991. US crude oil has lost half its value in the past two weeks. Brent crude oil dropped 20%. Both criteria fell for four weeks.
On Friday, Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell $1.49, or 5.2%, to settle at $26.98 a barrel. U.S. crude futures for April CLc1 fell $2.69, or 10.7%, to settle at $22.53 a barrel. The front-month contract expires on Friday. The more active U.S. crude contract for May CLc2 settled down $3.28, or 12.7%, at $22.63.
In addition to the pandemi lowering the demand, Brent fell about 40% after the collapse of efforts to contribute to the price increase with further cuts, coordinated by Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) + allies.
Saudi Arabia says that it will increase production to a record 12.3 million bpd. They keep making reservations to export oil to the world and refuse to restrain production.
US officials made a positive intervention Friday, saying they would send a US Department of Energy official to Saudi Arabia to balance the energy markets. Also, a Texas state regulator spoke with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo about the possibility of a global cut in production.
By the way, Texas regulators have not intervened to reduce production since 1973. The American Petroleum Institute opposed this idea on Friday, saying quotas did not work.