Government data that was released on Wednesday showed a decrease in US crude stockpiles for a third week in a row, causing oil prices to tap the highest levels of the session. There were also further gains in total domestic crude production, revealed in data from the Energy Information Administration.
August West Texas Intermediate crude CLQ7 also went up 1.2%, from $46.97 to $47.19. The contract, which expires at Thursday’s settlement, traded at $46.67. September Brent crude LCOU7, traded on ICE Futures Europe, was up 1.3% at $49.46 a barrel.
Troy Vincent, oil analyst at ClipperData, said draws in crude stocks on the East Coast and Midwest were primarily responsible for the decline, and pointed out data that showed the Strategic Petroleum Reserve did not release any crude oil in the last week.
“The better-than-expected inventory result means that Brent [crude] is staring at $50,” Adrienne Murph is staring at $50,” Adrienne Murphy, chief market analyst at AvaTrade said. She went on to say that even so “the oil market is particularly sensitive to bearish news right now [and] less sensitive to bullish readings.”
Gasoline stockpiles also fell by 4.4 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles declined by 2.1 million barrels last week, per the EIA. However, the report also showed a rise of 32,000 barrels per day in total domestic crude output to close to 9.5 million barrels a day.
On Nymex, August gasoline RBQ7 added 2%, to $1.61 a gallon, with prices rising to what could be their highest finish since late May, while August heating oil HOQ7 rose 1.8% to $1.538 a gallon. August natural gas NGQ17 traded nearly flat at $3.086 per million British thermal units ahead of the EIA’s weekly update on supplies due Thursday.