By Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices sank steadily last week. These prices are the lowest since before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Algiers agreement in late September. Distillate and gasoline prices also slid during the week, with a mid-week price spike caused by the fatal explosion and fire at the Colonial Pipeline.
Today’s WTI opening price of $44.63/b was $3.62 below Monday’s opening price of $48.25/b. This was a -7.5% drop. WTI’s price variability went from a high of $48.74/b on Monday to a low of $44.06/b this morning, a range of $4.68/b. Analysts note that prices have crashed through some key technical levels, raising new questions about how low prices can go before the November 30 OPEC meeting. Will a drop below $44/b prompt an OPEC announcement?
Distillate prices opened Monday at $1.5474/gallon. Prices received some support from the Colonial Pipeline explosion and fire on Monday, but announcements that the line would reopen Saturday, updated today to Sunday, allowed prices to resume their downward slide. Distillate prices retained value better than crude this morning, opening at $1.455/gallon. Over the week, however, prices plummeted 9.24 cents, or -6.0%, since Monday’s opening.
Gasoline RBOB prices opened Monday at $1.4642/gallon. Prices were on a downward slope, but they spiked in response to the news of the Colonial Pipeline closure. Colonial announced that the line would re-open on Saturday, causing prices to subside. Today’s update is that the line will be back in service on Sunday. RBOB opened at $1.4206/gallon this morning. Over the course of the week, this was a drop of 4.36 cents, or -3.0%, since Monday’s opening.