Oil falls after US crude stocks rise amid severe refinery freeze


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks are seen in an aerial photograph at the Cushing Oil Center

By Sonali Paul MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell in early trading on Wednesday after industry data showed inventories rose unexpectedly last week as a deep freeze in southern states curbed demand for oil. the refineries that were forced to close. Crude stocks rose 1 million barrels in the week to February 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, versus estimates of a 5.2 million barrel extraction in a Reuters poll. API data showed that refineries’ crude executions fell 2.2 million bpd. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 55 cents or 0.9% at $ 61.12 a barrel at 0136 GMT, after falling 3 cents on Tuesday. futures fell 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $ 64.99 a barrel, erasing Tuesday’s 13-cent gain. Investors will be awaiting confirmation from the US Energy Information Administration later Wednesday that crude inventories rose last week, despite the hit to shale oil production amid the unprecedented frostbite in the southern US. “The key question is how quickly the US oil supply recovers. It appears that supply will recover faster than refineries, and supply will exceed demand in the coming weeks. That will put negative weight on the market, “said Vivek, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank. Dhar said. The price pullback is seen as a pause after a more than 26% rally to 13-month highs in both Brent and WTI since the beginning of the year. Prices have skyrocketed due to supply disruption to the US and supply discipline by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together called OPEC +, led by an additional 1 million bpd cut. by Saudi Arabia. At the same time, stimulus spending to fuel growth, investors shifting to commodities, and hopes that the rollout of vaccines could lead to easing of pandemic restrictions are driving oil prices.

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