On Wednesday oil prices continued to fall as a rally faltered, following the news of Libya’s pipeline outage having a small impact and the Forties pipeline restarting to half capacity. Libya’s national oil company stated that it would take around a week to fix the pipeline, omitting 90,000 bpd of crude production. On Thursday morning prices were relatively stable, with trading activity low ahead of the New Year weekend. As of 9:00 AM GMT Brent crude traded at $66.58, up just 0.21%. At the same time WTI traded at $59.78, an increase of 0.23%.
US crude oil stocks fell more than expected last week as refinery output continued to increase, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. The decline marked the sixth straight weekly drop for crude stockpiles, falling by 6million bbl to 432.8million. Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub decreased by 1.3million bbl.
Interestingly, gasoline stocks rose by 3.1 million bbl last week, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters’ poll for a 1.3million bbl increase. Refinery runs only increased by 268,000 bpd w-o-w, as utilisation remained steady at 94.1% of total capacity. Refiners in the U.S continue to run at above-average rates which are typical for this time of year.
Distillate stockpiles rose by 2.8million bbl, compared to an expected drop of 584,000 bbl. While imports of crude oil rose last week by 220,000 bpd to 7.3million bpd.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research