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Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher as U.S. Supplies Drop to Lowest Since 2015

CommoditiesSep 19, 2018 02:39PM ET
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© Reuters. Crude oil supplies fell for the fifth-straight week on Wednesday.

Investing.com - Crude oil prices settled higher on Wednesday, as data showed crude oil supplies fell for a fifth-straight week to near multi-year lows.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose by 1.8% to settle at $71.12 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.48% to trade at $79.41 a barrel.

Inventories of U.S. crude fell by 2.057 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 14, missing expectations for a draw of 2.74 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The large draw in crude supplies emerged as imports fell by about 0.106 million barrels per day (bpd), while exports rose by 0.539 million bpd, data from EIA showed. The rise in U.S. exports comes as oil buyers continue to favor WTI crude over Brent crude, given the wide spreads between the benchmarks.

Gasoline inventories fell by 1.719 million barrels, topping expectations for a draw of 0.104 million barrels, while supplies of distillate -- the class of fuels that includes diesel and heating oil -- rose by 0.839 million barrels, missing expectations for an increase of 0.651 million barrels.

The mixed products data emerged as refinery activity fell to 95.4% of capacity last week from 97.6% the prior week, with crude inputs averaging about 17.42 million barrels per day, down 0.442 million barrels from the prior week, the EIA said.

Despite the mixed petroleum report, investors took plenty of positives as data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday, showed a build in crude inventories.

Production, meanwhile, rose to 11.0 million barrels per day, up 0.100 million bpd from last week, to near record highs.

Oil prices have made a strong start to the week following the rally Tuesday on expectations for tighter global crude supplies amid a report from Bloomberg, claiming Saudi Arabia was comfortable with Brent crude prices above $80 barrel.

This eased fears that Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of OPEC, would push for an increase in output as major oil prices are slated to meet in Algiers over the weekend, though talks are likely to focus on oil members' compliance with the oil-production cut accord.

Members of the oil-production cut agreement agreed in June to life output curbs to avert the prospect of global supply shortage amid expectations for a steep loss of Iranian crude from market as U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic loom.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement in May, allowing sanctions against Iran to snap back into place. The first wave of sanctions went into effect last month and a second set of sanctions on Iran's crude exports are slated for early November.

Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher as U.S. Supplies Drop to Lowest Since 2015
 

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