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Heating Oil Futures Fall, Gasoline Stocks Rise

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November 15th, 2017

Heating Oil prices fell further on Wednesday, after data showed a sizable increase in U.S. oil and gasoline stockpiles last week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures shed 71 cents, or about 1.3%, to a two-week low of $54.99 a barrel by 10:35AM ET (1535GMT). Prices were at around $55.13 prior to the release of the inventory data.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 76 cents, or 1.2%, to $61.47 a barrel, its lowest since Nov. 3.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 10. That compared with analysts' expectations for a decline of 2.2 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a supply-gain of 6.5 million barrels.

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, fell by 1.5 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 459.0 million barrels as of last week, which the EIA considered to be at the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.9 million barrels per day last week, up by 521,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 0.9 million barrels, disappointing expectations for a decline of 0.9 million barrels. For distillate inventories including diesel, the EIA reported a decline of 0.8 million barrels.

Oil prices lost almost 2% on Tuesday after the International Energy Agency cut its global oil-demand forecasts and projected an increase in U.S. shale production, casting doubts over the past few months' narrative of tightening energy markets.

This week's price drop means that crude futures are now down by around 5% since reaching 28-month highs last week, ending an impressive 40% rally between June and early November.

Despite the cautious sentiment, crude prices are expected to remain supported amid optimism that oil producing countries will agree to extend an output cut at their meeting at the end of this month.

Discussions are continuing in the run-up to the Nov. 30 meeting, which oil ministers from OPEC and the participating non-OPEC countries will attend.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures slipped 0.7 cents, or 0.4%, to $1.730 a gallon, while heating oil declined 1.3 cents, or 0.7%, to $1.893 a gallon.

Natural gas futures gained 1.7 cents, or almost 0.6%, to $3.119 per million British thermal units.


See Also: Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Heating Oil, Unleaded Gas, Ethanol, Gasoline Blendstock