MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices rose on Wednesday, after government data showed US crude and fuel inventories fell last week, offsetting concerns that rising coronavirus cases might reduce demand, reported Reuters.
Brent crude rose 29 cents to settle at USD79.23 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 58 cents to settle at USD76.56 a barrel.
In the United States, the average number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases hit a record high of 258,312 over the last seven days, a Reuters tally on Wednesday found. read more
Both oil futures contracts earlier traded at their highest in a month after US government data showed lower oil inventories.
Crude inventories fell by 3.6 million barrels in the last week to 420 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop.
US gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels over the same period to 222.66 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.5 million-barrel rise.
Distillate stockpiles fell by 1.7 million barrels to 122.43 million barrels, versus expectations for a 0.2 million-barrel rise, the EIA data showed.
Oil prices have been underpinned by Ecuador, Libya and Nigeria declaring forces majeures this month on part of their oil production because of maintenance issues and oilfield shutdowns.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that the OPEC+ group of producers has resisted calls from Washington to boost output because it wants to provide the market with clear guidance and not deviate from policy on gradual increases to productions.
Investors are awaiting an OPEC+ meeting on Jan. 4, when the alliance will decide whether to proceed with a planned production increase of 400,000 barrels per day in February.
As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.
We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.
We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, EIA said in a monthly report earlier this year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.