Oil prices were stable on Friday after Chinese demand settled any losses against the stronger dollar. The prices have been supported by an ever increasing demand from the Chinese markets in addition to OPEC’s effort of tightening the market.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $56.68 a barrel at 0535 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last settlement at $56.69.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were steady at $62.20 a barrel.
Analysts say that the stronger dollar has been weighing on oil prices. However, the Chinese led demand has helped the prices to remain stable.
China, thanks to its booming demand, is set to surpass US as the largest crude importer of oil in the world. China’s Crude oil imports rose to 37.04 million tonnes in November 2017.
China is currently dependent for over 68% for its crude needs on imports; however, the dependency is set to rise in the coming few years as Chinese demand grows. According to estimates, Chinese dependence for oil imports is set to reach 80% by the year 2021.
Intimidating to the prices is rising oil production at the US Shale oil rigs. Oil Production has increased 15% since June last year, highest ever in last 40 years. The US Oil industry has grown in terms of output to equal Saudi Arabia and Russia.