Oil prices dip as inventories increase

27 September 2010

Crude lacking impetus to break above current range

Oil prices dipped slightly during the week ending 22 September as inventories for crude outweighed an admittedly increased demand. 

The US’ benchmark October West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract was trading at $74.06 a barrel on 22 September, down by around $0.65 from seven days earlier when it was valued at around $74.71, a percentage drop of 0.87 per cent.

In Europe, the October Brent contract also dipped by $0.94 to $77.01, a decrease of 1.21 per cent.

The 12-crude basket of exports from the member states of the international oil cartel Opec also had a bad week by dropping to $74.41 from its 15 September price of $75.37.

Analysts at Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the UK bank believe that despite increased demand for oil prices ‘lack the impetus to break above their current trading range’.

The US’ Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) most recent report states that crude inventories in the world’s largest oil consumer stand at 358.3 million barrels which is at ‘upper limit of the average range for this time of year’. The figure stood at around 357.4 million barrels in the previous week (MEED 2:9:10).    

Crude refinery output is also around 41,000 barrels-a-day down in the US from the previous week’s average and refineries were reported to working at 87.8 per cent of capacity.

Gasoline inventories also increased considerably to 226.1 million barrels from 224.5 million barrels.

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