Crude Oil Costs – Weekly Outlook: March 11 – 15 – Worries about a broadening global economic slowdown which could threaten demand for crude are likely to have the biggest impact on oil markets in the week ahead.

Market players also will focus on monthly reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) this week to assess global oil supply and demand levels.

Fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories and production activity will also capture the market’s attention this week.

Oil futures settled lower on Friday, as weaker-than-expected Chinese trade and U.S. jobs data raised worries about global energy demand.

The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest oil consuming nations.

Crude futures were also under pressure after the European Central Bank slashed its outlook for economic growth on the continent.

Prices, however, pared much of their earlier losses to finish higher for the week as a third-weekly decline in U.S. oil-drilling rigs pointed to a potential pullback in domestic production activity.

Active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by nine last week to 834, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report last Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 59 cents, or around 1%, to settle at $56.07 a barrel by close of trade. WTI earlier fell more than 3% to a three-week low of $54.52.

For the week, the U.S. benchmark tacked on about 0.5%.

Meanwhile, International Brent crude oil futures ended Friday’s session down 56 cents, or roughly 0.8%, at $65.74 a barrel, recovering from a session low of $64.02, a level last seen on Feb. 14.

Brent prices saw a gain of approximately 1% on the week.

After ending 2018 in freefall, oil prices have rallied more than 20% to start the year thanks to ongoing efforts by major producers to drain oversupply from the market.

OPEC, which together with some non-affiliated producers like Russia, known as ‘OPEC+’, agreed late last year to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices.

However, rising U.S. output is threatening to undo those cuts. American drillers are pumping at records near 12 million bpd, according to weekly data.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the main events likely to affect the oil market.

Tuesday, March 12

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is to publish its weekly update on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, March 13

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly report on oil stockpiles. The EIA reported an increase of 7.1 million barrels in the week through March 1.

Thursday, March 14

OPEC will publish its monthly assessment of oil markets.

Friday, March 15

The IEA will release its monthly report on global oil supply and demand.

{{0|Baker Hughes}} will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

— Reuters contributed to this report