Oil drops on rising U.S. crude inventories, defies expected supply cut extension
Oil prices fell 1 percent on Wednesday after data showed an increase in U.S. crude
inventories, stoking concerns that markets remain oversupplied despite efforts by top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend output cuts.
Brent crude futures were down 50 cents, or 1 percent, from their last close at $51.15 per barrel at 0146 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $48.15, down 51 cents, or 1 percent.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 882,000 barrels in the week ending May 12 to 523.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
The fall in prices came just days after Saudi Arabia and Russia said on Monday that they agreed the need for a 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) crude supply cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some other producers including Russia to be extended for nine months, until the end of March 2018.
“The vulnerability of OPEC’s… rhetoric was starkly revealed… with both Brent and WTI falling… as the U.S. API crude inventories showed an unexpected increase,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.