The American Petroleum Institute announced a surprise increase in US reserves in the week to December 9. The growth of US oil reserves amounted to 4.7 million barrels, against the expected 1.5 million-barrel draw. The surprising data pushed the oil prices down, as WTI crude depreciated by 1.11% to 52.39 USD per barrel, while Brent oil dropped by 0.88% to 55.23 USD per barrel.
Crude levels at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage facility increased by 632,000 barrels – far lower than the 3.2 million barrel jump experts anticipated. Still, crude levels at the site have been on the up-and-up since October, and this week’s report continues the trend.
The report comes after last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which showed a 2.4 million barrel drop in commercial inventories the week prior.
According to traders pressure on prices appears and the report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said that OPEC produced about 34.2 million barrels per day in November, which is about 0.5 million barrels more than the official figures of the cartel, which anyway were record. If the IEA figures are true, this could undermine the efforts of countries outside the cartel to reduce production by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day, as is their agreement.
According to the IEA, global oil supply increased to 98.2 million barrels per day in November. Expectations for global demand in the fourth quarter amounted to 96.95 million barrels per day. Still, the agency predicted a deficit of 0.6 million barrels per day next year, if manufacturers adhere to the agreement.
Markets are focused on the expected increase in US interest rates tonight and the Fed meeting. The potential tightening of monetary policy will support the dollar, which in turn would make imports of fuel more expensive for holders of other currencies.
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