Oil prices slip, but supply cuts support

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices eased on Thursday, although a decline in U.S. inventories, ongoing supply cuts from OPEC and its allies, and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran all limited losses. Brent crude futures were at $71.49 a barrel at 0943 GMT, down 13 cents from their last close and further away from Wednesday’s five-month high of $72.27 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.71 per barrel, down 5 cents. Both contracts traded slightly higher earlier in the day. U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Wednesday. The fall in oil prices came “despite a small w-o-w (week on week) draw on U.S. crude inventories as observed in the latest EIA data, partly since imports slumped back toward the 6 million barrel per day mark while implied crude supply numbers remain firm,” Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said. Gasoline stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels, and distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 362,000 barrels, the EIA data showed. (GRAPHIC: U.S. crude inventories, weekly changes since 2017 – tmsnrt.rs/2XlX17b) Prices have been supported this year by an agreement… continue reading

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