Oil Jumps After US Gasoline Stockpiles Plunge to 22-Month Low

Alicia Cross
September 21, 2017

U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped last week as imports and production increased, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, as operations resumed from the impact of Hurricane Harvey which hit the Gulf Coast on August 25. Furthermore, higher demand for oil in 2018 has been anticipated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Refinery crude runs rose by 1.1 million barrels per day, EIA data showed.

Oil has risen more than 5 per cent in NY since Harvey slammed into the Texas coast on August 25, swamping the heart of the USA refining industry and disrupting everything from tanker arrivals to gasoline production. The data suggesting refiners will need to step up crude processing followed robust demand growth forecasts last week from the International Energy Agency and OPEC. The plant can process 325,700 barrels per day.Even as refineries restart to increase demand, more production is seen coming online in the United States.

Crude oil prices continued to climb on Wednesday, amid hopes for additional global supply cuts, while traders eyed the release of weekly USA stockpiles data due later in the day.

Meanwhile, an OPEC committee concluded the cartel and allied oil producers overshot production curbs called for in their agreement, according to two delegates.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $50.01 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.

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Nov. WTI added 79 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $50.69/bbl.

Brent crude futures (), the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.58 a barrel, down 4 cents but still not far off the nearly five-month high of $55.99 from late last week.

Global crude oil prices slipped slightly Monday but stayed close to multimonth highs as traders braced for a potential stockpile build, expected later this week.

But analysts doubt that such an extension would have much of an impact on the overall oil market. The report showed that US crude supplies climbed by 1.4 million barrels for the week-ended September 15.

Although the front-month gasoline futures contract that expires next week was little changed at $1.6498 a gallon, later-dated contracts including the more-heavily traded November futures rose.

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