Oil prices slipped today to a nine-month low earlier in the session, as apprehensions over the outlook for demand became aggravated due to increasing US fuel supplies.
Brent crude fell to a low of $96.75 before recovering to $97.55, while US crude slipped by four cents to $86.64 a barrel, reported Reuters.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released a report, which showed a decline in US crude inventories; however, there is a jump in distillate and gasoline supplies on the US East Coast, which includes the New York harbour.
According to the EIA data, stockpiles of crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the US oil futures contract have increased by more than one million barrels.
The EIA report came after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth projections for 2013 and 2014.
International Energy Agency (IEA) head Maria van der Hoeven said the fall in oil prices indicates that the market was adequately supplied.
Rising prices were also restricted due to prevailing political uncertainty in Europe, where Italy’s divided parliament is slated to commence voting to elect a new state president on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Iran’s oil minister Rostam Qasemi announced that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members will conduct an emergency meeting to discuss the next steps if oil prices stay at less than $100 a barrel.
OPEC’s next meeting is expected to take place on 31 May; however, Iran’s Press TV reported citing Qasemi that OPEC would consider calling an emergency meeting if prices remained below $100.
Image: EIA report showed a decline in US crude inventories leading to a huge drop in oil prices. Photo courtesy of US Department of Energy.