Oil Prices Have Been Remarkably Stable

North Sea Brent crude oil traded in the narrowest price range since 2006 last year, according to the EIA. Moreover daily fluctuations were the lowest in a decade.

North Sea Brent is used as benchmark for the price of oil from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. From the report:

“Price volatility in 2013 was at its lowest level over the 2006-13 period, as many of the factors that had been driving instability in oil prices were mitigated.

“Despite Libyan outages similar to those in 2011, Saudi Arabia maintained its production to smooth out the effects. Rising U.S. oil production also helped offset some of the losses of oil on world markets, resulting in supply being more in line with market expectations. The economic recovery became more evident as the European debt crisis waned and U.S. unemployment fell.”

“The minimum closing price for 2013 was $US97.69 per barrel (bbl) on April 17, and the maximum closing price was $US118.90/bbl on February 8, representing a trading range of $US21.21 for the year,” they noted.

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