EIA: Crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week
The price of crude oil was a bit lower in midday trade in New York on Wednesday as the US Energy Information Administration reported that stockpiles were unexpectedly higher last week.
The EIA said that US inventories of crude oil were up by 400,000 barrels in the week ending 16 July, to 353.5 million barrels, against an expected decline of 1.6 million barrels and leaving total stockpiles 10.8 million barrels ahead of last year’s levels.
In addition, gasoline inventories added 1.1 million barrels, about as much as analysts had expected, but distillates gained 3.9 million barrels last week, well ahead of expected gains.
This left gasoline stockpiles 6.8 million barrels head of last year’s levels and distillates 6.1 million barrels above the amount in storage last year, at a time when demand has peaked and is declining again according to some analysts.
September contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude was down 40 cents to $77.18 per barrel in midday trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while at last report Brent crude was 28 cents lower to $75.94 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Nymex August gasoline futures were down less than a cent to $2.07 per gallon, while August heating oil had dropped 2 cents to $2 per gallon and August natural gas had dropped 8 cents to $4.50 per million British thermal units.
The retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was down very slightly overnight, to $2.718 per gallon on average nationally.
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