Oil steady as tension in Mid East increases
OIL PRICES were little changed on Wednesday as rising political tensions in the Middle East offset US government data showing an increase in domestic crude production and a surprise build in stockpiles.
US crude production rose to 9.6 million barrels per day during the week of November 3, the most in a week on record according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data going back to 1983.
“The most notable thing in the EIA report was that production increased. We’re on our way to set record crude oil production in 2018,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
The EIA also said crude stocks increased by 2.2 million barrels. That compared with the 2.9 million-barrel draw forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and the 1.6 million-barrel decline reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute.
Brent futures were down 4 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $63.65 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $57.04 per barrel. Before the EIA released the inventory data, Brent and WTI futures were down about 0.6 per cent on data that showed Chinese crude imports fell to a one-year low.
China’s October oil imports fell to just 7.3 million bpd from a near record-high of about 9 million bpd in September.