US oil, gasoline inventories up in latest week

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Gasoline stocks, however, “continue to climb higher on the East Coast amid strong imports, resulting in a build on the aggregate despite a drop on the Gulf Coast, while distillate stocks have also eased amid lower refinery activity and higher implied demand, ” he said.

"Anything out of the State of the Union that hints at the U.S". Still, "more hard work is needed to turn this market unreservedly bullish".

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russian Federation, agreed to production cuts effective from last month to beat back supply growth. The surge comes shortly after Washington slapped sanctions on the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

Tuesday's crude trading session saw the same fear that motivated the previous session - that of weak USA factory orders - cause prices to decline again, with West Texas Intermediate falling 90 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $53.66 per barrel, and Brent down 41 cents at $62.10 per barrel. The contract increased 35 cents to $54.01 on Wednesday.

International Brent crude oil futures fell 25 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $62.44 per barrel.

Crude futures earlier posted around two-month highs.

U.S. government data on Wednesday showed that domestic crude inventories rose by less than expected last week even as refineries hiked output.

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Gasoline stockpiles edged up by 500,000 barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles were down 2.3 million barrels, according to the EIA.

Meanwhile, average weekly United States crude oil production remained at the record 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) it reached in late 2018.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index has risen 1 percent this month, capping gains in crude and other commodities priced in the currency.

“Looking ahead, the 2019 demand outlook for oil is not great, while the prospects of increased shale supply and competition elsewhere could keep the pressure on prices, ” he said.

Traders are watching how long a partial closure of the Keystone oil pipeline would last after the discovery of a possible leak in the area of St. Louis Missouri.

Citgo, the eighth-largest US refiner and Venezuela's top foreign asset, is in the middle of a tug of war as the Trump administration has made aggressive moves to remove it from Maduro's control.

Washington said last week that after April 28 foreign companies will not be able to conduct business with PDVSA using the U.S. financial system, effectively banning them from paying in USA dollars. The lender sees Venezuelan oil exports quickly falling by 300,000 barrels a day to about 700,000 barrels a day.

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