Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories grew less than expected, supply disruptions continued in Libya and the OPEC-led output cut by producing countries looked likely to be extended.
U.S. crude futures surged to nearly a two-week high after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose 867,000 barrels last week, nearly half the build expected, as refineries ramped up processing after seasonal maintenance and as imports dropped and exports rose. [EIA/S]
“The WTI crude bulls are emboldened by the double whammy of another large increase in refinery utilization rates and a big jump in crude oil export levels,” said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, a commodities-focused broker in Washington.
U.S. crude exports nearly doubled last week to climb to over 1 million bpd, EIA data showed.
U.S. crude exports surged 12 percent in 2016 to 520,000 barrels per day and China became the third-biggest overseas destination for U.S. crude last year, according to EIA data, up from ninth the previous year.
Still supporting prices was Tuesday’s declaration of force majeure by Libya’s National Oil Corp after production from the western Libyan fields of Sharara and Wafa was blocked by armed protesters, reducing output by some 250,000 bpd. Read More…
Credit By: Reuters
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