WTI Passes $71 Mark on Crude Stocks Draw
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil benchmark rose by nearly 2 percent Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a bullish report on domestic crude inventories. In fact, the last time EIA had released such a bullish report, the New England Patriots had just won their fourth Super Bowl amid the “Deflategate” controversy and “Uptown Funk” was topping the pop music charts.
“U.S. crude futures were up 1.8 percent on the fifth weekly drop in crude stockpiles,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. “EIA data shows stockpiles at their lowest level since February of 2015.”
The October WTI futures price settled at $71.12 a barrel, just a nickel shy of the intraday high. The low point for Wednesday’s trading was $69.65.
The front-month Brent posted a less robust 37-cent gain during the midweek session to end the day at $79.40.
“Brent was up more modestly following a 1.3-percent jump yesterday,” Bullock said. “Some of these increases are also being driven by unsourced reports that Saudi Arabia may be comfortable with prices above $80, despite the upcoming U.S. midterm election.”
October Henry Hub natural gas futures lost ground Wednesday, sliding two and a half cents to settle at $2.91. A gallon of reformulated gasoline for October delivery rose by more than a penny to end the day at $2.02.
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