Crude oil prices were quoted lower ahead of the Thursday open in Asia after industry estimates of U.S. weekly inventories set a bearish tone.
ICE Brent was quoted down 1.34 percent to US$77.12 a barrel, while NYMEX West Texas Intermediate eased 0.12 percent to US$68.64 a barrel in after-hours trade. Brent settled down 1.15 percent at US$77.27 a barrel, while WTI fell 1.65 percent to US$68.72 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.17 million barrels to 404.5 million last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday, compared with an expected 1.3 million-barrel fall. Supplies at the oil storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 631,000 barrels, API said.
Gasoline stocks rose by 1 million barrels, compared with an expected 810,000-barrel decline. Distillates rose by 1.8 million barrels, compared with an expected 742,000-barrel gain.
The Energy Information Administration will report official data on Thursday at 10:30 am U.S. EDT, also a day later than normal. U.S. markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday on Monday.
Energy companies and port operators along the U.S. Gulf Coast took steps on Wednesday to resume operations after Tropical Storm Gordon shut more than 9 percent of the region’s oil and gas output. In all, company shut-ins lopped 315,992 barrels of oil and nearly 500 million cubic feet of natural gas from Gulf output in the last two days, according to Wednesday’s estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Elsewhere, world oil consumption will reach 100 million barrels per day (bpd) later this year, sooner than previously forecast, OPEC’s secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said on Wednesday.
Saudi Aramco cut its October OSP for Arab Light to Asia by $0.10 a barrel versus September, putting it a premium of $1.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.