Oil prices dropped slightly today as overall crude inventories in the US rose by almost one million barrels.
Brent crude dropped by ten cents to $110.20 a barrel, while US oil was down by 14 cents to $102.61, reported Reuters.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data evinced mixed response from oil investors with a drop in Cushing crude stocks of 1.73 million barrels , while the country’s overall crude inventories rose by almost one million barrels.
Crude prices were placed slightly under pressure as seasonal refinery maintenance in March and April is expected to reduce demand for oil.
But domestic conflicts in Libya and South Sudan, and escalating protests in Venezuela, are supporting oil prices.
South Sudan has cut its oil production to approximately 170,000bpd even before the rebel strike on Malakal, which lies on the edge of Upper Nile state’s oil fields.
Sudan petroleum ministry officials said that the government halted 45,000bpd of output in neighbouring units earlier in the conflict.
The cold weather forecasts sent heating oil prices soaring to near three-week highs ahead of the settlement, as US crude rallied to a fresh four-month high.
The US dollar, which fell to a seven-week low against the Euro earlier this week, has also boosted demand for commodities such as oil as they become more affordable in other currencies.
Image: Crude stockpiles in Cushing have fallen below the five-year average. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick.