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This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices turned positive again after government data showed a surprise drop in gasoline in storage that offset a huge rise in U.S. crude stockpiles. International Brent crude futures were trading at $55.54 per barrel up 49 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.55 a barrel, up 38 cents, or 0.7 percent. U.S. commercial crude inventories rose by 13.8 million barrels in the week through Feb. 3 to 508.6 million. That compared with analysts' expectations for a 2.5 million barrels increase.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Light, sweet crude for delivery rose 44 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $53.19 a barrel during the Globex electronic session of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for March delivery added 48 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $55.56/barrel. Prices continue to swing back and forth around the low $50-a-barrel level, and traders continue to weigh the outlook for a production cut struck by major oil-producing nations against the sizeable overhang in global oil stockpiles.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• The possibility of a renewed demand for western Wisconsin’s frac sand in 2017 was discussed on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The West Side” program on Dec. 12 on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. Host Rich Kremer was joined by guests Rich Budinger, operations manager for Fairmont Santrol, and Samir Nangia, a director of consulting with IHS Energy Insight. With oil prices on the rise once again, some experts are saying the resulting increase in drilling will bring the demand for frac sand back to the level it was at in 2014. In preparation for this renewed demand, companies including Hi-Crush Proppants, Superior Silica Sands and Fairmont Santrol have begun to add resources and rehire workers at facilities across western Wisconsin. Listen to the report here.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices are trending higher on news of Saudi supply cuts to Asia. Oil's gains came despite government data showing a bigger-than-expected weekly build in U.S. crude and fuel inventories. Brent crude futures were up $1.60, or 3 percent, at $55.24 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up $1.53, or 3 percent, at $52.35 a barrel.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a deal to cut back on oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day to raise global prices. OPEC nations currently produce about 33.7 million barrels of oil per day. Under the deal, they’ll bring that down to 32.5 million barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE and Kuwait making the biggest cuts. Global oil prices rose nearly 9 percent on the news, with Brent crude rising from $46 per barrel up to $51 per barrel.

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