(Bloomberg) -- Oil was little changed after an industry report was said to show U.S. crude stockpiles fell, while supplies of products gained.
Prices traded near $52 in after-market trading in New York following the release of data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday. The data was said to show crude stockpiles dropped by 7.13 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories increased. A crude draw of that magnitude would be the largest since mid-August, if it’s confirmed by Energy Information Administration data to be released on Wednesday.
“If you’re an objective bull, you really have to be kind of disheartened,” Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors in Houston, said by telephone. Inventory trends have been bullish, yet prices aren’t reacting strongly, he said.
Earlier Tuesday, futures prices ended the session little changed after declining amid a report that the Kurdish Peshmerga agreed to return to 2003 Iraq borders. The report came from Sky News Arabia, without saying how it obtained the information.
Iraq had called for cooperation to keep exports in the northern part of the country flowing after the government regained control of oil fields and energy facilities in Kirkuk, which will allow for more investment and will enhance exports, according to an Oil Ministry statement.
“This is a pretty strong indicator that the conflict is not going to continue, that some of the temporary loss of production is going to come back,” James Williams, president of London, Arkansas-based energy researcher WTRG Economics, said by telephone. “It’s certainly in Iraq’s interest to keep the Kirkuk-area oil fields going and with the retreat to the border, they really don’t have much more argument against it.”
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery traded at $51.99 a barrel at 4:42 p.m. after settling at $51.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level in more than two weeks. Total volume traded was about 5 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for December settlement added 6 cents to end the session at $57.88 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.77 to WTI for the same month
The API report also showed gasoline supplies climbed by 1.94 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 1.64 million barrels, according to people familiar with the data, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. A build in distillates of that size would be the largest since early July, if EIA data confirms it.
A Bloomberg survey showing oil inventories probably fell by 3.25 million barrels last week. Oil stored at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub probably rose by 1 million barrels, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg
The Suezmax Minerva Georgia completed loading on Monday at Ceyhan, while four other tankers are waiting to take on Kurdish crude, according to shipping agent reports and tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The anxieties over the Iraq and Kurdistan situation are rapidly easing,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, in a telephone interview. “The risk premium that had gotten built into prices from what looked to be a significant battle brewing is coming right back out, because there was no battle.”
Other oil-market news:
OPEC has a “general agreement” to extend output cuts beyond March, Amir Zamaninia, deputy minister for trade and international affairs at Iran’s Oil Ministry, said in an interview in London. Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in London that Saudi Aramco’s IPO is “on track” and the kingdom aims for simultaneous local and international sale. Iran said it would support an extension of OPEC oil-production cuts to the end of next year, and insisted its own output plans won’t be disrupted by U.S. President Donald Trump. Kazakhstan’s oil production returned to near record level on Sunday, according to daily output figures published by the Central Asian country’s energy ministry.
With assistance from Heesu Lee and Angelina Rascouet. To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Summers in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at email@example.com Debarati Roy.