Oil closes down again, lands just above $50 mark

Whatever the floor is for oil, $50 doesn’t seem to be it.

Brent crude closed just a few barrel-drops within that threshold Friday, down 85 cents to $50.11. U.S. crude fell 43 cents to $48.36. The marks are the lowest for crude since April 2009, and represented the seventh straight week of losses.

However, prices recovered from even steeper losses during the day after Baker Hughes, the U.S. oilfield-services company, announced that the number of rigs drilling for oil domestically had fallen by 61 this week, the most during a week since 1991.

Read more in Reuters.

That contraction in supply has many observers believing that prices will find the bottom soon. Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, one of the experts quoted in PUMP the Movie, notes that the surplus of oil we keep hearing about only amounts to roughly 1 percent of global consumption, which is about 90 million barrels a day (The U.S. uses about 18 mbd). He thinks the current slide is an “anomaly,” and that prices will begin climbing again in the spring.

Here’s what he said on Bloomberg:

At some point … we have to reassess where are we, in terms of the supply-demand equilibrium. … I call this an anomaly, in terms of oil price, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bottoming out … and starting to go up again late in the spring. … It doesn’t take much to wipe out this anomaly.

Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow in New York, told Reuters:

“In my opinion we have not stabilized out yet. I do think that after seven weeks of losses, you will see a bounceback at some point, and people are waiting for that to short into. I am.”

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