Brent crude prices witnessed a decline this morning, Wednesday, affected by a surprise increase in US oil inventories.
The price of Brent crude barrel reached $64, retreating by 0.5%, while the price of US crude reached $61 a barrel, a decline of 0.79%.
The American Petroleum Institute showed an unexpected rise in US oil inventories, after companies reduced oil extraction with the snow storm that struck the US.
Crude stocks increased by one million barrels in the week ending February 19, to reach about 469 million barrels. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 5.2 million barrels.
Oil inventories at the delivery center in Cushing, Oklahoma rose by 2.8 million barrels.
The Petroleum Institute data showed that the consumption of crude refineries fell by 2.2 million barrels.
Gasoline stocks rose by 66 thousand barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations, which were indicating a decrease of 3.1 million barrels.
Distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 4.5 million barrels, while they were expected to decline by 3.7 million barrels.
The data showed that the United States’ imports of crude oil last week decreased by 521 thousand barrels per day.
Oil prices closed near their highest levels in a year, supported by signs that global restrictions to contain the Coronavirus are being eased. However, there is still concern about the pace of the US economic recovery and the return of crude production in Texas curbed the gains.
US crude futures ended the trading session three cents lower to $61.67 a barrel, but remains near their highest levels since January 2020.
Brent crude futures closed 13 cents, or 0.2%, up at $65.37 a barrel.
The benchmarks were both higher than a dollar earlier in the session before retreating.
Brent crude is a crude oil used as a benchmark for pricing two-thirds of global oil production, especially in European and African markets.
The crude consists of a blend of oil from 15 different fields in the Brent and Tinian regions (some located in the United Kingdom and others in Norway) that produce about 500,000 barrels per day.