NEW YORK--Friday's dramatic increase in oil prices was a "technical bounce" off recent lows rather than the sign of a significant change in the oil market, said U.S. Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski.
"Today was mostly a technical bounce...off of a downward slide since mid-March," Sieminski said in an interview.
Sieminski noted that oil prices have retreated by some $35 a barrel in recent months, establishing a lower platform for Friday's surge.
Nymex crude oil futures settled at $84.96 per barrel, a rise of a $7.27, or about 9.4%, the biggest one-day oil rise in terms of percentages since March 2009 and one of the biggest single-day increases since NYMEX crude began trading in 1983.
Sieminski said the oil market has loosened considerably in recent months after relative tightness earlier this year.
"To me, the biggest story has been the continual move in the global markets to a looser supply-and-demand market after things were very tight" earlier this year, Sieminski said.
Write to John Biers at [email protected]