Oil posted a second straight monthly gain as physical markets show signs of strength and traders look ahead to OPEC+ potentially extending its supply cuts. 

West Texas Intermediate settled little changed above US$78 a barrel, up 3.4 per cent since the end of January. February’s incremental advance comes amid multiple signals of a strong physical market. WTI’s prompt spread stood at 74 cents a barrel in backwardation, indicating tightening supplies, compared with a bearish contango structure earlier this month. 

Gauges such as the WTI cash roll have also strengthened. The roll, which reflects supply-demand balances at Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed to the highest in more than a year.

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Oil’s back-to-back monthly advances have pushed prices to the upper end of this year’s tight trading band. The climb has been supported by supply cuts from OPEC and its allies, and the group is widely expected to prolong the reductions into the second quarter. 

Earlier this month, crude rallied to the highest price in 2024 as investors weighed escalating geopolitical risks in the Middle East, an area that supplies a third of the world’s crude. Attacks on merchant ships in the to Red Sea have buoyed crude and helped strengthen US physical markets as foreign buyers turn to American oil to avoid shipping issues. 


  • WTI for April delivery fell 28 cents to settle at $78.26 a barrel in New York.
  • Brent for April settlement, which settles on Thursday, fell 6 cents to settle at $83.62 a barrel.
  • The more active May settled at $81.91 a barrel.