Investing.com – Oil futures finished higher for the third day in a row on Friday, as sentiment remained supported after OPEC members agreed on output cuts for the first time in eight years, despite some ske
pticism among analysts over the implementation of such an agreement.
On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for December delivery tacked on 38 cents, or 0.76%, on Friday to settle at $50.19 a barrel by close of trade. The contract rallied to $50.39 on Thursday, the most since August 26.
For the week, London-traded Brent futures surged $4.30, or 8.56%, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries surprised the market by agreeing to a framework to cut production in talks held on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algeria.
The oil cartel reached an agreement to limit production to a range of 32.5 million to 33.0 million barrels per day, a reduction of 0.7%-to-2.2% from its current output of 33.2 million barrels.
However, the market remained skeptical of the deal, pondering how such a plan would be implemented. Some analysts cautioned that the agreement left out crucial details on how much each country will produce.
The 14-member oil group said it will finalize a plan to make those decisions at the official OPEC meeting in Vienna on November 30, when an invitation to join cuts could also be extended to non-OPEC countries such as Russia.
Brent futures saw a gain of over 4% in September, but ended the third quarter nearly flat.
Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in November inched up 41 cents, or 0.86%, to end the week at $48.24 a barrel. Prices touched a five-week peak of $48.32 on Thursday.
Market players continued to focus on U.S. drilling prospects, amid indications of a recent recovery in drilling activity. Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week rose by 7 to 425, marking the 13th increase in 14 weeks.
For the week, New York-traded oil futures rallied $3.76, or 7.79%, after U.S. crude supplies fell for the fourth week in a row, boosting the demand outlook in the world’s largest oil consumer.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventories declined by 1.9 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 3.0 million barrels.
The U.S. benchmark notched a monthly gain of nearly 8% in September and rose more than 1% for the quarter.
In the week ahead, oil traders will focus on U.S. stockpile data on Tuesday and Wednesday for fresh supply-and-demand signals.
Market players will also continue to monitor supply disruptions across the world for further indications on the rebalancing of the market.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Tuesday, October 4
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.
Wednesday, October 5
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.
Friday, October 7
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.