WTI Oil Rises First Time in 3 Days on Expected Inventories Drop

Aug 20, 2014 9:32 am ET

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate crude rose for the first time in three days on expectations that U.S. inventories dropped last week. Brent also gained.

Stockpiles probably decreased 1.75 million in the week ended Aug. 15, a Bloomberg survey showed before today’s report from the Energy Information Administration. The American Petroleum Institute was said to report yesterday that supplies slid by 1.4 million, according to Bain Energy.

“The API report raised some eyebrows and I think we are going to see another drop in the EIA report,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “Fundamental traders are looking at the data.”

The more actively traded October WTI futures gained 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $93.29 a barrel at 9:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September contract, which expires today, rose $1.02 to $95.50. The volume of all futures was 39 percent below the 100-day average. The September-October futures spread rose to $2.38 on the Nymex. It dropped $1.04, or 39 percent, to $1.62 yesterday.

Brent for October settlement climbed 47 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $102.03 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 4.9 percent above the 100-day average. It reached a premium of $8.73 to October WTI on the ICE.

Cushing Supplies

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI contracts and the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, expanded by 1.7 million, API said. API collects information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines, while the government requires that reports be filed with the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

WTI and Brent have declined this month as Iraqi security forces stepped up attacks against Islamic State militants after ousting fighters from the country’s largest dam with U.S. air support.

Iraqi troops, joined with Kurdish fighters and backed by U.S. warplanes, are seeking to reverse gains by insurgents who have rampaged through the north of the country since capturing the city of Mosul in June.