|09-11-2014, 04:58 AM||#1|
Crude oil futures continue retreat on supply and demand fears
Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday to a 17-month low on prospects of weaker demand and rising supplies that helped losses go into a fifth session.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a fall of nearly 1 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories last week, a smaller fall than estimated at a time when refineries are increasing production before the beginning of post-summer maintenance.
Losses were increased after the release of the report.
The report also showed inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the closely-watched delivery point of the U.S. crude contract, increased by 77,000 barrels. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillate fuel inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 2.4 million and 4.1 million barrels respectively.
The U.S. EIA said on Tuesday that U.S. output in August hit its highest level since 1986. The United States is the world`s largest oil consumer and as recently as 2010 was reliant on imports for almost 50 percent of its consumption. That is expected to fall to just over 20 percent next year, the EIA said.
-Benchmark crude oil futures were last down 1.30% to $91.56 a barrel.
Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic have dropped over the past three months, dragged down by soaring U.S. shale oil production which has replaced many imports from West Africa, Europe and other regions, leading to a supply glut in the Atlantic Basin and Asia.
-October Brent was last down 1.10% to $98.08 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its monthly market report that total production increase last month, even with the group’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia saying it had cut output.
OPEC also trimmed its forecast for expected crude demand from the group by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in both 2014 and 2015 due to stronger supply from oil-producers outside the organization.
Oil prices have been declining since the middle of the summer, back when European benchmark Brent crude oil futures were above $115 a barrel.
Late in European trading on Wednesday, Brent futures were down 43 cents at $98.73, already well below the pain threshold for the majority of OPEC members in terms of their national budgets, although still above budget break-even levels for the key Arabian Gulf swing producers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.
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