Oil Falls On Large Crude Inventory Build

Jeannie Matthews
April 4, 2019

"The $70-a-barrel price level is within striking distance", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer Group Ltd.in Zurich.

The Wall Street Journal reported the consensus on Brent crude for this year among 12 banks it had polled was US$68 a barrel, which is US$1 higher than their previous consensus during a February poll.

Total products supplied over the past four-week period averaged 20.6 million barrels per day, down by 1.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

Production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) helped push the group's supply to a four-year low in March, a Reuters survey found.

In the Gulf Coast, which is home to more than half of all US refinery capacity, refinery inputs averaged over 9.2 million barrels per day in 2018, or 8 percent higher than the previous five-year average for that region and the first time the annual average surpassed 9.0 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, oil prices are being propped up by US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela along with voluntary supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers.

Oil prices have been supported by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies such as Russian Federation to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply this year.

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"On the demand side, easing economic slowdown fears are also offering support", she said.

The identity of the three countries was not revealed by the source.

US Vice President Mike Pence this week confirmed Washington would continue to target Venezuela, citing world oil prices as low enough to allow for the measures.

A key crude terminal in Venezuela, also under U.S. sanctions, has halted operations again.

US crude stocks rose unexpectedly last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories drew, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday.

US crude stocks rose to 7.2 million barrels in the latest week, the Energy Information Administration said, surprising analysts who had forecast a decrease of 425,000 barrels.

(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build in crude oil inventory of 3.0 million barrels for the week ending March 29, coming in over analyst expectations of a 425,000-barrel draw.

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