By Nigar Abbasova
Crude futures are still caught between larger-than-expected growth in U.S. crude inventories and reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could consider extending its output reductions beyond the agreed six-month period.
Oil prices were down on February 17, as growing stocks overshadowed cuts of the OPEC, implemented in tandem with other producers.
Brent crude futures were trading at $55.57 per barrel, 8 cents below their last close, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 4 cents at $53.32 per barrel, Reuters reported.
The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $53.14 a barrel on February 16. The price of a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil decreased $0.23 to stand at $56.74.
Both Brent and WTI futures turned to losses, though prices had moved higher earlier on the background of news that the cartel could extend an output cut aimed at ousting a global supply glut. But, traders are still concerned as inventories and supplies remain high, especially in the United States.
The commercial crude stockpiles in the US (excluding the strategic reserve) have increased by 9.5 million barrels or 1.9 percent to 518.1 million barrels over the week ending Feb.10.
Analysts expected this figure to increase by 3.513 million barrels. Gasoline stocks in the country grew by 2.8 million barrels, while analysts expected 0.752 million barrels of decline.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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