LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a report allayed concerns about tightening supply, ending a rally that took prices to their highest since early November on concerns that OPEC output cuts and sanctions would take too much oil out of the market.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), a watchdog for oil consuming countries, said in a statement on Tuesday that markets are “adequately supplied” and that “global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels.”
Also weighing on prices, U.S. crude stocks rose by 6.9 million barrels last week, more than expected, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. EIA stocks data is due later on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures were at $74.18 per barrel at 0848 GMT, down 33 cents from their last close. It was the benchmark’s first fall after three days of rises, but it is still set for its fifth consecutive weekly gain.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $65.89 per barrel, down 41 cents from their previous settlement – not enough to steer them away from what is set to be their eighth week of gains.
Crude oil prices for spot delivery rallied after the United States said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action from Washington.