Oil prices increased today following news of the scheduled start of a pipeline project from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast, which would pump crude stocks at the giant storage hub.
Brent crude increased by 24 cents to $112.86 a barrel, while US crude grew by $1.17 to $97.21 a barrel, reported Reuters.
Prices increased after TransCanada revealed in a tariff filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that its 700,000 barrel-per-day Cushing-to-Port Arthur, Texas, pipeline will begin services on 3 January 2014, which will draw down inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point of the US oil futures contract.
The launch of the new pipeline is expected to help reduce inventories from Oklahoma’s oil hub to the Gulf Coast of the US, where the major refineries are located.
Oil prices were also supported by the American Petroleum Institute’s data, which highlighted a drop of 12.4 million barrels in domestic inventories and snapped a ten-week streak of builds that had added nearly 36 million barrels.
But Brent’s price gain slowed after news from Iran and Iraq on plans to increase output by about one million barrels per day.
Brent prices were also impacted after ministers from OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Algeria indicated that the oil cartel – at its meeting in Vienna on Wednesday – is likely to maintain its production target of 30 million barrels per day for the first half of 2014.
Libya Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak said production in the country has increased slightly in the past two weeks.