Surprise Rise in US Oil Stocks, Prices Drop

A surprise rise in U.S. crude stocks saw investors taking their profits on Tuesday following the American Petroleum Institute release of data.

On Wednesday West Texas Instruments fell 60 cents at $64.65 a barrel.

Brent crude futures that expire on Thursday were down 41 cents at $69.70 a barrel, and were down 44 cents at $69.02 for June futures.

Shanghai crude oil in Asia fell in volatile trading 3.75 percent to 410 yuan ($65.37) a barrel.

The report by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday said that there was an unexpected rise in crude stocks in the week to March 23 of 5.3 million barrels opposed to estimates that there would be a decline of 430.6 million barrels.

Rise in U.S. Oil Production

Over the last two years U.S. oil production has pasted that of Saudi Arabia with an increase of nearly 25 percent to over 10 million barrels per day in production. During the course of the last seven months, the oil price has risen by more than 4 percent out of a nine month period.

Chief economist and head of research at Dutch Bank ING in Asia, Robert Carnell said that, weighing on oil prices is the increasing supply coming from the U.S.

Pact Between Saudi Arabia and Russia

Reports that Saudi Arabia and Moscow were discussing extending a long term pact to curb oil supplies. Moscow pumps around 11 million barrels per day and is the biggest producer. The pact which started in January 2017, will involve managing supplies between 10 to 20 years. This could potentially control world crude supplies by the major exporters for many years to come.

Focus by investors is now the official U.S. inventory data report by the Energy Information Administration due to be released later in the week.

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