WTI Crude Oil Prices Rise on Supply Tightening, Lower Inventories

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Mar 29, 2023, 10:25 UTC

Geopolitical tensions boost WTI crude oil prices for third consecutive day.

WTI Crude Oil

In this article:

Key Takeaways

  • Iraqi Kurdistan export halt tightens oil supply outlook
  • Norwegian oil firm DNO shuts down production in Kurdistan
  • Drop in U.S. crude inventories supports oil prices


Oil prices are easing higher for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as concerns about tightening supply grew due to a halt in some crude exports from Iraqi Kurdistan. The exports were halted after an arbitration decision confirmed the need for Baghdad’s consent to ship the oil.

At 09:23 GMT, June WTI crude oil futures are trading $73.75, up $0.41 or +0.56%. On Tuesday, the United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) settled at $64.52, up $0.37 or +0.58%.

Oil Prices Rise on Kurdistan Export Halt and Lower Inventories

The export halt is expected to tighten the supply outlook as the stoppage prolongs. Adding to this was the announcement from Norwegian oil firm DNO that it had started shutting down production at its fields in Kurdistan, which averaged an output of 107,000 bpd last year.

The recent easing of worries over the banking sector also helped sentiment as investor nerves were soothed by the sale of assets in collapsed lender Silicon Valley Bank.

Additionally, a drop in U.S. crude inventories, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures, supported oil prices.

The official U.S. inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is awaited at 14:30 GMT to confirm the crude stock decline. Traders are looking for a 1.8 million barrel build.

Daily June WTI Crude Oil

Daily June WTI Crude Oil Technical Analysis

The main trend is down according to the daily swing chart. However, momentum is trending higher. A trade through $64.58 will signal a resumption of the downtrend. A move through $80.97 will change the main trend to up.

The minor trend is up. This is controlling the momentum. A trade through $67.02 will change the minor trend to down.

The short-term range is $80.97 to $64.58. The market is currently testing its retracement zone at $72.78 to $74.71.

The main range is $86.40 to $64.58. Its retracement zone at $75.49 to $78.06 is another potential upside target.

Combining the two zones suggests the market could run into resistance at $74.71 to $75.49.

On the downside, the major support is the long-term 50% level at $68.76.

Daily June WTI Crude Oil Technical Forecast

Trader reaction to $73.34 is likely to determine the direction of the June WTI crude oil futures contract on Wednesday.

Bullish Scenario

A sustained move over $73.34 will indicate the presence of buyers. This could lead to a test of the resistance cluster at $74.71 to $75.49. Since the main trend is down, sellers are likely to show up on a test of this area.

Overcoming $75.49 could trigger an acceleration to the upside with $78.06 the next likely target.

Bearish Scenario

A sustained move under $73.34 will signal the presence of sellers. The first target is $72.78. This is a potential trigger point for an acceleration into $68.76.

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About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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