As Stratas Advisors expected, crude prices continued going up last week. The price of Brent crude ended the week at $79.24 after closing the previous week at $77.20. The price of ended the week at $75.25 after closing the previous week at $73.95.
The price of Brent crude is edging closer to levels not seen since September 2018, when the price of Brent reached $82.73 (before quickly falling to $53.80 by Dec. 1, 2018). The price of WTI has already exceeded the price during that period in 2018, when WTI reached $74.34 before declining to $45.41 by Dec. 1, 2018. The decline in prices stemmed, in part, from the significant increase in U.S. production that occurred over the course of the year (in January, 2018, U.S. production was 9.5 million bbl/d and by the end of the year had reached 11.7 million bbl/d—with the increase in production from Sept. 1 through Dec. 1 alone being 700,000 bbl/d) coupled with the increase in U.S. crude inventories, which increased by some 48 million barrels during the period of Sept. 1-Dec. 1, 2018.
The increase in prices week was not unexpected with traders becoming more bullish as the world moves past the latest wave of COVID-19.