Extracted crude oil splashes on a worker’s hand as it’s being pours from a pipe in the village of Wonocolo, East Java, Indonesia (Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)

Oil Slips After Industry Reports Larger Than Expected U.S. Build

(Bloomberg) -- Oil, which closed at a seven-month low in New York on Tuesday, slipped further after an industry report was said to show a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories.

Futures fell after the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report U.S. crude stockpiles expanded by 7.83 million barrels last week. If confirmed by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, that would be the biggest build in five weeks, compared with an average 2 million-barrel increase in a Bloomberg survey of analyst forecasts.

“If EIA confirms this build, it could certainly lead to further price weakness,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors. “This would mean that we haven’t found the bottom.”

Oil Slips After Industry Reports Larger Than Expected U.S. Build

Crude has tumbled almost 20 percent since touching a four-year high last month as bearish supply signals around the globe crowded out concerns about disrupted exports from Iran and Venezuela. U.S. government waivers will allow some of Iran’s biggest customers to buy crude from OPEC’s No. 3 producer for another six months, damping shortage fears. The waivers announced this week by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apply to China, India and six other nations.

West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery traded at $61.79 a barrel at 4:38 p.m. in New York after ending the session at $62.21 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since April 6. Total volume traded was about 20 percent above the 100-day average.

Brent futures for January settlement fell $1.04 to close at $72.13 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.79 premium to WTI for the same month.

See also: ’Dead’ December WTI Oil Options Come Back to Life on Price Slide

The API was also said to report that inventories at the key pipeline hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 3.07 million barrels last week. Gasoline and distillate supplies both fell, according to the data.

Other oil-market news:
  • Gasoline futures added 0.21 cents to settle at $1.694 a gallon. 
  • Iraq will continue to have access to the energy it needs from Iran to generate and supply electricity, said Brian Hook, special representative for Iran at the U.S. State Department.
  • Occidental Petroleum Corp. earned three times more trading oil than it did from pumping U.S. crude in the third quarter, profiting handsomely from pipeline shortages affecting smaller producers in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

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