Barclays Capital has a bullish report on the global oil service industry, which it says will grow this year after passing the low point for activity in the fourth quarter of 2009. The reports predicts an 11 per cent rebound in worldwide spending on exploration and production this year.

James West of Barclays expects E&P spending to accelerate in 2011 as the cycle gains momentum:

The global oil markets remain supply challenged, decline rates are increasing and the resource base is depleting. These trends argue for higher oil prices to increase drilling activity and this is a clear positive for the oil service companies.
This cycle will likely be characterized by continued strong investment in the Eastern Hemisphere, a significant expansion in Brazil, the emergence of deepwater as the central theme and a rebirth in exploration activity.

Barclays said prospects for North America were less constructive over the next one to two years as there were considerable changes underway in this market that would keep growth at bay and increase spending volatility.

Crude oil prices rallied with Nymex December West Texas Intermediate up $1 to $77.35 a barrel while ICE January Brent added 99 cents to $77.30 a barrel.

Olivier Jakob, head of Swiss-based oil consultancy Petromatrix, said global markets were seeing a continuation of risk appetite but this was largely sponsored by continued pressure on the dollar.

“As long as the dollar bashing continues, there will be some support coming to commodities and to oil, but the risk concentration on the (short) dollar trade is increasing by the day as fundamentals do not provide enough support,” said Mr Jakob.

Crude oil prices managed a partial recovery after sinking by more than $2 on Thursday after US inventories data showed an unexpectedly broad deterioration in demand conditions.

Nymex December West Texas Intermediate rose 46 cents to $77.40 a barrel, while ICE December Brent added 73 cents at $76.75 a barrel.

Crude oil prices fell ahead of the latest US weekly inventories data with Nymex December West Texas Intermediate down 64 cents to $78.64 a barrel, while ICE December Brent lost 50 cents at $77.45 a barrel.

US crude stocks were forecast to have risen 700,000 barrels last week, according to an expanded poll of analysts by Reuters.

Demand for crude from refiners remains soft because of poor profit margins and almost one-fifth of US refining capacity is currently lying idle.

Crude oil and US natural gas prices rose amid concerns that hurricane Ida could cause supply disruptions as the storm moved through the Gulf of Mexico.

Nymex December West Texas Intermediate rose $1.27 to $78.70 a barrel, while ICE December Brent added $1.20 at $77.07 a barrel.

Oil offloading has been halted at the Louisiana offshore oil port and some oil companies have already evacuated offshore workers from platforms.

Nymex December Henry Hub rose 3 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $4.625 per million British thermal units, a relatively muted reaction as US natural gas inventories stand close to record levels in preparation for winter.

Read the full commodities report

US crude oil prices regained the $80-a-barrel level with Nymex December West Texas Intermediate up 50 cents to $80.12 a barrel, while ICE December Brent added 56 cents at $78.55 a barrel.

Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos, president of Opec, said during an oil sector meeting in Ecuador on Thursday that prices were “more or less at an acceptable level” and that crude at $80 a barrel in 2010 would be “reasonable”.

Hussein Allidina, commodity strategist at Morgan Stanley, said further gains for oil prices were likely to be limited as physical demand remained weak and supportive macro factors would start to fade.

US crude oil prices slipped below the $80 a barrel level, surrendering gains made in Wednesday session following the latest US inventories data.

Nymex December West Texas Intermediate lost 58 cents at $79.82 a barrel, while ICE December Brent slipped 64 cents to $78.25 a barrel.

US crude stocks fell 4m barrels last week, confounding the consensus market forecast for an increase of 1.4m barrels.

Crude oil prices made modest gains ahead of the latest US inventories data with Nymex December West Texas Intermediate up 54 cents to $80.14 a barrel while Brent crude added 35 cents at $78.46 a barrel.

US crude stocks were forecast to have risen 1.4m barrels last week, according to a poll of analysts by Reuters, while petrol inventories were seen up 300,000 barrels and distillate inventories (including heating oil) were predicted to have fallen 1m barrels.

Nymex December RBOB unleaded gasoline traded just over a cent, or 0.6 per cent, higher at $2.0788 a gallon while Nymex December heating oil added about ½ cent, or 0.3 per cent, at $1.0788 a gallon.

Read the full commodities report

Oil prices dipped on Friday while base metals were mixed as commodity markets paused following a strong rally in the previous session prompted by news that the US economy had escaped recession in the third quarter.

After rising by more than $2 on Thursday, Nymex December West Texas Intermediate retreated 43 cents to $79.44 a barrel, while ICE December Brent lost 52 cents at $77.52 a barrel.

Crude oil’s extremely high correlation with movements in the US dollar and stock market is continuing to trouble analysts who argue that oil market trading is not currently based on supply and demand fundamentals.

Oil prices managed a partial recovery on Thursday after falling more than $2 a barrel in the previous session, while base metals were firmer as commodity markets steadied ahead of data expected to show that the US economy escaped recession in the third quarter.

The consensus forecast was for US gross domestic product to have expanded at an annualised rate of 3.2 per cent in the third quarter following an 0.7 per cent contraction in the previous three months.

Nymex December West Texas Intermediate rose 44 cents at $77.90 a barrel, while ICE December Brent added 44 cents at $76.30 a barrel.

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