WTI Oil Rises After Cushing Supply Drops; Brent Gains on Ukraine

Jul 23, 2014 10:43 am ET

(For Bloomberg fair value curves, see CFVL <GO>)

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate oil rose after a government report showed stockpiles dropped at Cushing, Oklahoma, the contract’s delivery point. Brent gained as fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine.

Cushing supplies fell by 1.45 million barrels to 18.8 million last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. The decline left stockpiles at the lowest level since November 2008, data from the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, showed. Separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in the same region where Malaysian Air flight MH17 was destroyed, the government said.

WTI for September delivery advanced 28 cents to $102.67 a barrel at 10:33 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The August contract expired yesterday after losing 17 cents to $104.42. The volume of all futures traded was 16 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for September settlement rose 39 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $107.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a $5.05 premium to WTI, up from $4.94 at yesterday’s close.

Nationwide crude stockpiles fell 3.97 million barrels to 371 million in the week ended July 18, EIA data showed. A 2.9 million-barrel decline in supply was projected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Crude Output

U.S. crude production fell 27,000 barrels a day to 8.565 million. Output has surged this year as a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies trapped in shale formations, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

Gasoline for August delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2.869 a gallon on the Nymex. Ultra low sulfur diesel for August delivery gained 0.4 percent to to $2.8663 a gallon.

U.S. gasoline pump prices dropped 0.7 cent to $3.558 a gallon nationwide yesterday, the lowest since March 31, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motoring group.

Brent rebounded last week for the first weekly gain in a month after Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew. The incident threatened to intensify the worst crisis between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War.

The European Union will consider restricting Russia’s access to capital markets and sensitive technologies unless President Vladimir Putin expedites the investigation of the plane crash, three officials said yesterday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Israel in pursuit of a truce in Gaza. Israel doesn’t plan to stop its Gaza Strip offensive as long as the Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers continue to pose a threat, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said on Israel Radio.