Reporter's Notebook: Interesting Divergence In Oil Market Ahead of OPEC Meeting

CNBC Senior Energy Correspondent Sharon Epperson shared her notes from the NYMEX Tuesday:

Despite the increasing consensus view that OPEC will boost oil supplies, the July contract for Brent touched a high above $116 per barrel Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate futures are moving lower and held under $99. The $17 spread between the two was a record for the July contract. Citi Futures Perspective energy analyst Tim Evans said the spread is not justified on fundamentals, but shows there is money chasing momentum, more than value.» Read More

Here are some possible explanations from traders on the divergence:

Lifting Brent

Traders may be trying to steer market sentiment to discourage selling and keep upside open after bullish reports from Goldman Sachs and similar banks.

Big banks reiterated their view in notes Tuesday morning that global oil demand will be stronger in second half of 2011. As a result, Goldman sees OPEC operating near full capacity by next year.

China's oil demand sees strong upside, boosting diesel demand as it uses diesel generators to make up for lost electric power generation in preparation for power outages that are expected to occur this summer.

Pressuring WTI

The United States Oil Fund LP oil ETF starts its monthly roll today, selling July contracts and buying August contracts although August is under pressure as well.

More U.S. oil supply with restart of Transcanada’s Keystone pipeline after closure and return from other production outages in Canada.

Questions? Comments? Email us at marketinsider@cnbc.com

  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Sharon Epperson

    CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park

    JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli

    Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Peter Schacknow

    Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.