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Oil slips after rising US crude inventories amid deep freeze for refiners

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell at the start of trade on Wednesday after industry data showed US crude inventories unexpectedly surged last week as a deep freeze in the states South dampened demand from refineries that were forced to shut down.

FILE PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks are seen in an aerial photograph at the Cushing Oil Hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, US April 21, 2020. REUTERS / Drone Base / File Photo

Crude inventories rose 1 million barrels in the week to Feb. 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, against estimates of a 5.2 million barrels draw in a Reuters poll.

API data showed that refinery crude cycles fell 2.2 million bpd.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 55 cents or 0.9% to $ 61.12 a barrel at 0136 GMT, after slipping 3 cents on Tuesday.

Brent futures fell 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $ 64.99 a barrel, erasing a 13-cent gain on Tuesday.

Investors will await confirmation from the US Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday that crude inventories rose last week, despite the blow to shale oil production amid the unprecedented wave of ice in the southern states. -United.

The key question is how quickly America’s oil supply is recovering. It appears that supply will recover faster than refineries and that supply will exceed demand in the coming weeks. This will give the market negative weight, Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said.

The price decline is seen as a pause after rebounding over 26% to 13-month Brent and WTI highs since the start of the year.

Prices surged due to the supply disruption to the United States and the supply discipline of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together called OPEC +, driven by a further reduction of a million bpd by Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, with stimulus spending to spur growth, investors are turning to commodities, and the hope that the vaccine rollout could lead to a relaxation of pandemic restrictions are all pushing up oil prices.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Edited by Edwina Gibbs

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