Squeezed supply, depleting stockpiles buoy oil prices

Wednesday's market will be focused on the US EIA's weekly inventory tally, which could end up showing the same picture as API's count from Tuesday.

Photo: Jan Unger

Wednesday morning's oil prices are up roughly 1 percent against Tuesday, when figures from the American Petroleum Institute evening showed a larger-than-expected fall in US inventories.

A barrel of European reference oil Brent trades Wednesday morning for USD 75.03 against USD 74.36 Tuesday afternoon. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate sells concurrently for USD 71.21 against USD 70.50.

According the API's figures, US crude stockpiles decreased 6.1 million barrels – substantially more than the 2.4 million barrels forecast, according to estimates compiled by Reuters.

The market Wednesday will be focused on the weekly stockpile account from the Energy Information Administration that could end up showing the same picture as API's figures Tuesday.

US stockpiles have depleted in recent weeks in the wake of hurricane Ida hitting the Gulf of Mexico a few weeks back and causing major disruptions to regional oil operations.

Supply is expected to remain tight after Royal Dutch Shell, the largest operator in the gulf, has announced that its output will stay reduced until the beginning of next year due to damaged offshore transfer facilities.

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