Oil Prices Soar After Brief Respite
A downturn in crude oil pricing based on a rise in US fuel stocks has begun turning upward again.
Light sweet crude reached $52.79 at close on the US markets, after dropping $1.22 on Wednesday. In London, Brent crude closed at $52.30 after rising 19 cents.
US stocks of heating oil, diesel, and jet fuel – all distillate products – rose by 1.3 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Agency report released Wednesday. But concerns about increased demand for those distillates have driven prices higher.
Analysts fear stocks for heating oil won’t accumulate sufficiently before winter demand peaks. That worry has pushed prices upward since mid-May.
As demand increased for refined products, US stockpiles of crude oil fell to 330.8 million barrels, according to EIA. That represents a drop of 3 million barrels versus what had been forecast to be a modest gain of 200,000 barrels.
OPEC oil output has been at a 25 year high, while US refineries have been running at 94.9 percent capacity. OPEC meets in Vienna next week, and will consider raising its production quota by 500,000 barrels a day.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.