Oil Prices Surge on Inventory Report
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil futures posted healthy gains Wednesday on a bullish U.S. oil inventories report.
The August WTI contract price added $1.55 Wednesday, settling at $59.38 per barrel. At one point during the midweek session, the WTI traded just seven cents shy of the $60-mark at $59.93. At the opposite end of the intraday range, the benchmark fell to $58.65.
Brent crude oil for August delivery also surged Wednesday, gaining $1.44 to settle at $66.49 per barrel.
Providing a boost for oil prices was the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration report on domestic commercial crude inventories. According to EIA, crude oil stocks stood at 469.6 million barrels as of last Friday, translating into a 12.8-million-barrel draw from the previous week. The decline in inventories that EIA reported was far higher than what analysts had predicted. To illustrate, Investing.com shows a forecast draw of just 2.54 million barrels.
The latest U.S. inventories figure is nearly 13 percent higher than the level for the same period in 2018.
Also of interest to the oil market Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has concluded the oil and gas activity was lackluster during the second quarter. As Rigzone reported earlier, the latest Dallas Fed survey of energy executives in Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico reveals flat Q2 oil and gas activity following a three-year growth period. The survey also found that exploration and production and oilfield services firm drove the decline.
Reformulated gasoline (RBOB) showed a solid increase Wednesday. The July RBOB contract added nine cents to finish the day at $1.97 per gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas, which on Tuesday bolstered the strong gain that it had exhibited the previous day, faltered during midweek trading. July gas futures lost nearly two cents Wednesday to settle at $2.29.
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