TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices were mixed early on Wednesday, but largely held on to gains in the previous session after OPEC said it expected higher demand for its crude next year.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, according to an industry report, although analysts have warned stocks data may not give a full picture in coming weeks because of weather diruptions.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 was trading up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.29 a barrel at 0035 GMT after rising 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
International benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $54.20 a barrel, having settled up 0.8 percent in the previous session.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose nearly twice expected levels last week as refineries cut output following Hurricane Harvey, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday. [API/S]
Crude inventories rose by 6.2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 8 to 468.8 million, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports on stockpiles and refinery runs later on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
Some analysts have warned that this week’s numbers may be incomplete indicators of the longer-term supply and demand outlook.
The EIA also said on Tuesday it had revised both its 2017 and 2018 oil production forecast figures lower to reflect, in part, the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
The largest refinery in the United States, in Port Arthur Texas, was running at reduced rates, sources told Reuters.
The Organization of Petroleum Export Countries (OPEC on Tuesday forecast higher demand for its oil in 2018 and pointed to signs of a tighter global market, indicating its production-cutting deal with non-member countries is helping to tackle a supply glut that has weighed on prices.
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin