West Texas Intermediate crude futures are on track for a near 5.00% gain this week, spurred by the return of refinery operations after Hurricane Harvey forced them to shutter.
The demand outlook for oil has also brightened considerably after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pointed to signs of the global supply glut shrinking on the heels of reduced production from OPEC and non-OPEC countries.
The US oil benchmark got an extra boost on Thursday after an electrical fire at Canadian Natural Resource’s Horizon oil sands project. While a spokesperson for the company said output was not affected, physical markets in North America nonetheless surged following the report.
US crude futures spiked to as high as $50.49 a barrel on Thursday, before pulling back below $50.00 in thin Friday trading.