U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Rose by 6M Barrels Last Week: EIA
U.S. crude oil inventories rose much more than expected last week, the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday, sending oil prices deeper into the red.
The EIA data, released a day late due to Monday's Columbus Day holiday, showed that crude oil inventories rose by 5.987 million barrels in the week to Oct. 5.
That was compared to forecasts for a stockpile build of 2.62 million barrels, which came after an unexpected build of almost 8 million barrels in the previous week.
The EIA report also showed that gasoline inventories unexpectedly rose by 951,000 barrels, compared to expectations for a decline of 42,000 thousand barrels, while distillate stockpiles dropped by 2.666 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decrease of 2 million.
U.S. WTI futures were down 2.71% to $71.19 at 11:15 AM ET (15:15 GMT).
London-traded Brent crude futures slumped 2.85% to $80.72.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.4 million barrels per day last week, down by 568,000 barrels per day from the previous week, the EIA said.
Oil prices had slumped to the lowest levels in two weeks ahead of the report as global stock markets tumbled and trader bearishness was increased by an industry report showing U.S. crude stockpiles rising more than expected.
U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 9.7 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said in its weekly report late Wednesday.
Prices were also hit after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global demand growth for oil next year.
In its monthly report, OPEC said it now expects global oil demand to grow by 1.54 million barrels per day this year, down 80,000 barrels per day from its last forecast, citing trade disputes and volatility in emerging markets.
The 15-nation producer group also said several members raised their oil output in September in order to offset a drop in production from Iran, where U.S. sanctions are cutting into the country’s exports.
Iran is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and the third-largest exporter in OPEC.
Expectations for tighter markets from Nov. 4, when sanctions are re-imposed on Iran, saw oil prices rally to four-year highs last week, with Brent rising above $86 a barrel.