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May 20, 2014

Oil prices climb as US crude inventories drop

Oil prices rose today as US industry data showed a fall in crude inventories in the week ending 16 May.

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Oil prices rose today as US industry data showed a fall in crude inventories in the week ending 16 May.

Brent crude was up by 11 cents to reach $109.80 a barrel, while US oil rose by 56 cents to settle at $102.89 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Crude prices climbed after the American Petroleum Institute (API) data revealed that US crude inventories fell by 10.3 million barrels in the week ending 16 May, with stocks at the delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, also dropping by 261,000 barrels.

Investors are now awaiting the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, which is scheduled for release later today.

Support for global oil prices continued with the fragile situation in Libya, where new fighting broke out in the capitol Tripoli early on Wednesday.

"The West imposed fresh sactions on Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, over its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine."

Reports by Tripoli residents of gunfire and explosions near two military camps came two days after gunmen stormed parliament in the worst violence in months.

Libyan output remained at 210,000bpd and the western El Feel and El Shahara oilfields remain shut, a week after the Government said protests were over.

Oil prices received further support from the continuing conflict in Ukraine, while a senior Russian official said that the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine on 25 May could deepen political divisions, casting doubts on whether Moscow will consider the election legitimate.

The West imposed fresh sactions on Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, over its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.


Image: API data showed that US crude stocks fell by 10.3 million barrels. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net/Renjith Krishnan.

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