Oil prices down after a rise in US crude and gasoline stocks

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after data revealed a rise in US Crude oil and gasoline inventories. Furthermore, the fears of rising US Shale production have also been taking hold amongst investors.

Brent crude oil futures were at $69.83 a barrel at 0444 GMT, down 13 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.43 a barrel, down 4 cents from their last settlement.

U.S. shale companies are expected to ramp up production this year, and higher oil prices could lead to the industry turning profits for the first time. But spending has vastly outpaced earnings. According to The Wall Street Journal, the shale industry has spent $265 billion more than it has generated since 2010.

The collapse of oil prices forced a deep contraction, with lots of write-downs, defaults, layoffs and bankruptcies. There was a period of time when Wall Street was lured back in on the promise of lower breakeven costs and substantial efficiency gains. Despite the significant investments made in the fracking techniques by Canada and US, the profits remained elusive. Only last year did the style of management and investment techniques evolved in the US Shale industry, leading to shale executives committing to a more prudent and investor-centered strategy, which called for more conservative drilling programs and an emphasis on cash and profits over growth.

American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday that the crude inventories had already risen by more than 4.5 million barrels during the last week, coupled with the rise of more than 4 million barrels the market was responding to the rising inventories.

The situation is same in Asia, where surplus inventories have diminished the margins for most of the refinery companies. Despite this, traders said oil prices were unlikely to tumble far as markets remain supported by healthy economic growth, as well as from supply restrictions led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.

In the latest sign of robust global economic growth, Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in January, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Posted on: 2018-01-24T13:15:00+05:00