• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

WTI passes $100 before U.S. crude stockpile data

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West Texas Intermediate rose above $100 a barrel before the release of data forecast to show crude stockpiles increased for a 10th week in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent was higher in London.

Futures gained as much as 0.6 percent in New York. Crude supplies probably grew by 2.5 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before an Energy Information Administration report. Top industrial powers threatened stiffer sanctions to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from seizing more of Ukraine and suspended Russia from the Group of Eight. U.S. authorities plan inspection flights over the Houston Ship Channel as it remains closed after a fuel-oil spill.

“It’s still the geopolitics lurking in the background which have the potential to support the oil markets, mainly concerning Ukraine,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. Changes in supply and demand don’t seem to be driving the oil market, he said. “The news we have is mostly related to the ongoing concerns that the crisis could escalate between the West and Russia.”

WTI for May delivery rose to as much as $100.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $100.06, up 46 cents, at 12:09 p.m. London time. The contract rose 14 cents to $99.60. The volume of all futures traded was about 51 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for May settlement was up 33 cents at $107.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $7.01 to WTI.

U.S. crude supplies rose to 375.9 million barrels in the week ended March 14, the highest level since November, said the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Refinery units are typically shut for maintenance in late winter before restarting in the spring to meet summer demand for gasoline.

Gasoline stockpiles probably shrank by 1.7 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate of nine analysts in the Bloomberg survey  before the government report. Distillate inventories, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, slid by 1.1 million, the survey shows.