Oil prices drop 0.3% as China plans to pull out of its shares

Oil prices fell more than 0.2% in overnight trading on Thursday as China announced it will take an unprecedented step by tapping into government crude oil reserves to ease pressure on domestic refineries, which will reduce demand. from other countries.

US crude fell 0.29% to $ 69.1 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 0.33% to $ 72.36 a barrel.

The US Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that US crude oil, gasoline and spirits inventories fell last week.

Crude oil inventories fell 1.5 million barrels in the week ending 3 September to 423.9 million barrels, compared to analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a drop of 4.6 million barrels.

Stocks of crude oil at the Cushing delivery center, in Oklahoma, they rose 1.9 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The administration said crude oil consumption in refineries fell by 1.6 million barrels per day last week. Refinery utilization rates fell by 9.4 percentage points during the week.

The Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to 220 million barrels, compared to analysts’ expectations. in a Reuters poll that indicated a decline of 3.4 million barrels.

Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that stocks of distillates, which include diesel and fuel oil, fell by 3.1 million barrels to 133.6 million barrels, against expectations of a decline of 2.6 million. of barrels.

The administration said net imports of US crude oil increased 168,000 barrels per day last week.

In addition, Royal Dutch Shell said today, Thursday, that it has declared force majeure in some contracts due to damage to its maritime facilities in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida.

Force majeure is a legal clause that companies use during unforeseen events such as hurricanes and fires when they cannot meet contractual obligations such as oil delivery.

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