Crude stockpiles rose by 9.94 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. Government data on Wednesday are forecast to show supplies increased for a sixth week. Oil prices will range between $50 and $60 a barrel this year, according to Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit Ltd., an industry consultant.
Oil has held above $50 a barrel since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 other nations started trimming supply on Jan. 1. Yet the price gains are also funding a revival in U.S. shale drilling that’s countering the efforts of OPEC and its biggest producer Saudi Arabia, which cut output last month by the most in eight years.
“The market is getting anxious about oversupply,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery slipped 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $52.98 a barrel at 9:22 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 27 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for April settlement declined 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $55.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark traded at a $2.25 premium to April WTI.
U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased by 3.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Inventories are at the highest seasonal level in more than three decades, according to weekly data compiled by the EIA since 1982.
- Higher oil prices following OPEC cuts will help U.S. production grow by 500,000 barrels a day this year, spurring the need for new pipelines, Yergin said Tuesday on Bloomberg’s WBBR Radio.
- Nigeria’s Bonga oil field will shut down for about 36 days from Feb. 23 for maintenance, according to a schedule seen by Bloomberg.