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  • Saudi Arabia looks to reduce oil output in August.
  • Norway oil workers’ strike comes to an end on Thursday.

After struggling to stage a decisive recovery during the first half of the week amid rising stocks numbers in the U.S., crude oil prices gained traction on Thursday with the barrel of West Texas Intermediate settling 70 cents, or 1%, higher on the day at $69.46. As of writing, the barrel of WTI was trading at $69.35.

Earlier today, speaking on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Adeeb Al-Aama,  Saudi governor for OPEC, stated that their July output would be roughly equal to their June figures and added that he was expecting to reduce their production by 100K barrels per day in August. The governor further explained that they wouldn’t want to see the oil supply fall short of the  market demand and discourage potential investment in the industry.

After these comments, the barrel of WTI jumped above the $70 mark but failed to hold there as news from Norway triggered a profit-taking wave. The strike that more than 1,500 oil workers went on in Norway came to an end after their union reached an agreement with the employers and the Knarr field, which has a daily output of around 24K barrels, re-opened.

“Via the state-appointed mediator, a solution has been found … and therefore the strike is to end immediately,” the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

The weekly EIA report released on Wednesday showed that oil production in the U.S. reached a record high of 11 million barrels per day and investors will be looking for confirmation of ramped up production in the U.S. in tomorrow’s Baker Hughes data.

Technical levels to consider

The initial resistance for the barrel of WTI could be seen at $70 (psychological level) ahead of $70.85 (Jul. 16 high) and $71.55 (20-DMA). On the downside, supports are located at $67.80 (daily low), $67 (psychological level/Jul. 18 low) and $65.80 (May. 28 low).