U.S. crude oil prices, as measured by the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark reached a 7-month high in May, as prices traded over $50 per barrel, the highest levels since October 2015. The price rise came after the U.S. Energy Department released data showing that crude oil inventories had dropped in the U.S.. Inventories tend to drop as the economy uses more oil and gasoline going into the summer months.
WTI prices have almost doubled from a year ago as supply of and demand for oil worldwide have started to rebalance. Oil analysts believe that if prices move above $50 per barrel, it will spur additional production by U.S. drillers, as their profit margins increase with higher prices. As long as the extra production is consumed by an increase in demand, then prices should stay about the same if not elevate further.
Sources: U.S. Dept. of Energy