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Oil prices tumble on U.S. inventories data
20 April 2017, 06:51 | Kelvin Horton
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
Crude inventories fell by 840,000 barrels in the week to April 14 to 531.6 million barrels, still close to record highs, according to data from the API. Industry data show crude oil inventory levels on the decline, suggesting some supply-side strains are fading, but US metrics have been consistent with estimates of gains in crude oil production. Prices held ground at their lowest level in more than a week, with traders showing concern that recent data point to the likelihood of further growth in US crude production.
Traders have been concerned that growing USA output will offset efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to balance global oil supply and demand. Over the past four weeks, consumption of all petroleum products averaged 19.7 million barrels, down less than 1 percent from the same period a year ago.
American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that U.S. markets continue to remain oversupplied though crude inventories slipped by 840,000 barrels in the week up to 14 April to 531.6 million barrels.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose one cent to $52.66 a barrel, with their intraday low as $52.14, also the weakest since April 7.
"With questions hanging over US gasoline demand, any further product builds will act as a brake on the oil price recovery", he said.
The price of crude oil fell following the release of an industry report which showed that the decrease in inventory in the United States was lower than had been anticipated.
U.S. drilling is now set to increase by 123,000 barrels a day in May, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the steepest monthly rise since February 2015.
Overall, WTI edged higher to the $52.50 p/b area ahead of the USA open with Brent trading back just above the $55.00 level.
The global crude glut has persisted even as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producing countries have worked to reduce output nearly 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017."Rising U.S. production levels are offsetting more than a third of the six-month agreement of the 1.8 million barrel-per-day cut", McGillian said.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed in December 2016 to cut supplies for six months, helping lift oil prices to about $55 a barrel after a two-year slump. This is part of the production cuts that the oil-producing kingdom had agreed to as a member of OPEC.
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