A key factor: The widening gap between West Texas Intermediate and Brent oil futures, which means traders can profit more from each American barrel shipped to energy-starved Europe and elsewhere.
The spread this week blew out to a level not seen since 2020, incentivizing exports that are already at a record. Crude shipments climbed 21% last week to an all-time high of 4.55 million barrels a day while total petroleum exports also hit a record, Energy Information Administration data show.
Tight supplies in Europe following Russia’s growing isolation have kept Brent oil futures elevated and stoked demand for US crude. At the same time, releases from the US strategic petroleum reserve have kept a lid on WTI prices.