Futures lost as much as 1.4 percent in New York after rising 1.8 percent in the previous three sessions. The American Petroleum Institute signaled U.S. crude inventories probably climbed a second week, ahead of data from the Energy Information Administration which is forecast to show a decline. OPEC output rose in May as Libya and Nigeria revived production halted by attacks and political crises, a report from the group showed Tuesday.
Oil is extending its slump below $50 a barrel amid speculation increasing U.S. supplies will counter production curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including non-OPEC member Russia. Output at major American shale fields will reach a record in July, according to the EIA.
“The market has weakened on the API data,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “Investors will be watching the EIA numbers like a hawk to see if that increase is confirmed. There is an improvement in global demand, but not enough to drive prices at this stage.”
West Texas Intermediate for July delivery slid as much as 63 cents to $45.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $45.99 at 12:51 p.m. in Hong Kong. Total volume traded was about 23 percent below the 100-day average. Prices gained 38 cents to $46.46 on Tuesday.
Brent for August settlement lost as much as 54 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $48.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices added 43 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $48.72 on Tuesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.11 to August WTI.
U.S. crude inventories added 2.75 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles increased by 1.79 million barrels last week, the API said Tuesday, according to people familiar with the data. The EIA is forecast to report crude stockpiles slid 2.45 million barrels and motor fuel inventories dropped by 1.15 million barrels, according to the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey.
- OPEC production rose more than 336,000 barrels a day in May from a month earlier to 32.14 million barrels, according to a monthly report from the group on Tuesday.
- China’s crude output in May fell 1.8 percent from the previous month to average 3.84 million barrels a day, the lowest since October, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data Wednesday from the National Bureau of Statistics.
- Oil stockpile draws will accelerate in the second half of 2017, according to BP Plc Chief Economist Spencer Dale.