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Oil Rises After Report Shows Steep Decline in U.S. Inventories


By Grant Smith and Heesu Lee

(Bloomberg) Oil rose for a second day after an industry report showed a bigger-than-expected drop in American crude inventories, allaying concerns that the market is poised to tip back into oversupply.Futures in New York climbed as much as 1.7% after jumping 2.4% on Tuesday. The American Petroleum Institute said stockpiles fell by 11.1 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. That would be the largest decline since June if confirmed by government figures due Wednesday. The API also reported a 2.8 million barrel draw in distillates and gasoline inventories.

Distillate inventories have increased recently, while gasoline has been steady

“Oil markets are broadly balanced at the moment, benefiting from the typical seasonal acceleration in demand,” said Martijn Rats, global oil strategist at Morgan Stanley.

Crude is still heading for its second monthly drop this year amid spreading pessimism over international trade and economic growth. However, prices are drawing some support from political tensions in the Middle East, with Iran’s leadership rebuffing suggestions of a meeting with President Donald Trump until the U.S. lifts sanctions on the country.

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery rose 70 cents, or 1.3%, to $55.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:28 a.m. local time. It settled $1.29 higher on Tuesday.

Brent for October settlement advanced 59 cents, or 1%, to $60.10 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange, after rising 1.4% on Tuesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a $4.48 premium to WTI.

The API’s data for the decline in U.S. crude inventories surpasses the 2.85 million barrel draw estimated in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. If the API figures are confirmed by Energy Administration data, it will be the second drop in a row following two weeks of gains that raised oversupply fears.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies said they expect a “significant” decrease in global crude stockpiles in the second half of this year after they trimmed output more than planned. The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, composed of key nations from the OPEC+ coalition, said the group’s implementation of cutbacks was 159% in July.

Oil-market news
  • Morgan Stanley cut its oil-price forecasts, saying that OPEC will need to make even deeper output reductions next year. The bank lowered its 2020 outlook for Brent to $60 a barrel.
  • BP Plc agreed to sell its entire business in Alaska to closely held Hilcorp Energy Co. for $5.6 billion, ending a six-decade presence in the state as oil production there declines.
  • Chances are increasing that Tropical Storm Dorian will progress to Florida’s east coast carrying 100 mile-per-hour winds as a Category 2 hurricane, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a 5 a.m. update.


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