Oil prices fall on mixed reports of US petroleum stocks
Oil prices have slipped on mixed reports of fall in US crude and rise in gasoline stocks, after gaining in the previous session by a surprise fall in inventories.
Brent LCOc1 fell 41 cents to $57.49 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 dropped 22 cents to $51.92, reported Reuters.
The US Energy Department reported that crude inventories in the country decreased by 1.8 million barrels last week, against the prediction of a 3.4 million barrel increase.
Depsite the fall in crude stocks supporting oil prices initially, the reports of a build-up in gasoline inventory and smaller fall in distillates than was estimated further increased pressure on the market.
Last week, crude production in the country also increased to 9.55 million bpd, higher than levels before hurricane Harvey hit the US Gulf Coast.
Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency increased its 2017 global oil demand growth estimate to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.5 million bpd due to higher demand in the US and Europe.
Recently, the US crude has become increasingly competitive in foreign markets with exports touching nearly 1.5 million bpd.
The rising demand for US crude can offset the ongoing efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other participating nations as an increase in prices is expected to trigger more US production.