Crude oil prices have increased due to an unexpected fall in US inventories.

Brent crude earlier traded as low as $36.28 a barrel, while the front-month US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $36.47 per barrel, up 33 cents, Reuters reported.

Petroleum imports in the country have fallen from almost 14 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 to around nine million bpd, government data revealed.

Following a decline in shale production and the lifting of a 40-year crude export ban by the US Government, the market is expected to tighten.

The oil export ban was imposed in 1975 when the country was reeling from the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo that led to a rise in gasoline prices.

At the moment, no immediate large-scale exports are expected from the country, but some oil may flow from the US into the markets worldwide in 2016.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Traders are watching for official inventory data to be published later on Wednesday.

Goldman told the news agency that crude prices may need to fall to $20 per barrel to force closures and bring production back to normal in line with demand.