Commodities - WTI Oil Futures Turns Positive After Large Inventory Draw
West Texas Intermediate oil turned positive in North American trade on Wednesday, after data showed that while oil, gas and distillate stockpiles in the U.S. all sharply.
Crude oil for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 28 cents, or 0.4%, to trade at $66.62 a barrel by 10:32AM ET (14:32GMT) compared to being off around 0.5% at $66.03 ahead of the report.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories fell by 4.143 million barrels in the week ended June 8. Market analysts' had expected a crude-stock draw of 1.440 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a build of 0.833 million.
Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, decreased by 0.687 million barrels last week, the EIA said. Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 432.4 million barrels as of last week, according to press release, which the EIA indicated was “in the lower half of the average range for this time of year”.
The report also showed that gasoline inventories decreased by 2.271 million barrels compared to expectations for a build of 0.443 million, while distillate stockpiles shrank by 2.101 million barrels compared to forecasts for a gain of 0.200 million.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery gained 42 cents, or around 0.6% to $76.32 by 10:37AM ET (14:37GMT), compared to being slightly down at $75.84 before the release.
Meanwhile, Brent's premium to the WTI crude contract stood at $9.74a barrel 10:38AM ET (14:38GMT), compared to a gap of $9.52 by close of trade on Tuesday.
Apart from the inventory data, oil traders continued to weigh potential outcomes for a meeting of major oil producers later this month.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is due to meet at its headquarters in Vienna, together with non-OPEC member Russia, on June 22 to discuss production policy.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers have been curbing output by about 1.8 million bpd to prop up oil prices and reduce high global oil stocks. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018.
However, Saudi Arabia and Russia have said cuts could be eased after receiving calls from consumers including the United States, China and India to support global demand in reaction to lost supplies out of Venezuela and Iran.