Oil prices fall after U.S. inventories rise

A worker inspects a pump jack at an oil field in Tacheng, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China June 27, 2018. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices dropped for a fifth straight day on Thursday after official data showed a sustained rise in U.S. crude and fuel inventories.

Brent crude features fell 50 cents to $67.50 a barrel by 0612 GMT after dropping 0.6% on Wednesday. U.S. oil was down 46 cents at $64.14 a barrel, having fallen 0.3% the previous session.

Government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude inventories have risen for four straight weeks after refineries in the south were forced to shut due to severe cold weather, Reuters reported.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories increased 2.4 million barrels last week.

That was a day after the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday estimated a 1 million barrel-decline.

“U.S. inventory numbers from the EIA were more bearish than the API numbers from the previous day suggested,” ING Economics said, according to Reuters, noting the stocks totaled more than 500 million barrels for the first time this year.

“Refiners continue to bring back capacity after the freezing conditions in February,” ING said, adding that throughput rates are still below the average before the cold snap.

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