US Crude Oil Stocks Up First Time In 9 Weeks Amid Renewed COVID-19 Scare - Energy Agency

US Crude Oil Stocks up First Time in 9 Weeks Amid Renewed COVID-19 Scare - Energy Agency

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st July, 2021) The stockpiles of US crude oil increased last week for the first time in nine weeks, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases in the United States and in other parts of the world.

Crude inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels during the week that ended on July 16, the EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed.

The higher crude numbers came after eight straight weeks of drawdowns that removed more than 40 million barrels from stockpiles, sending US oil prices to four-year highs of almost $78 a barrel as market punters predicted record fuel consumption.

Earlier this week, New York-traded West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US crude, tumbled almost 8 percent to under $67 a barrel.

WTI's sell-off on Monday, its worst in 16 months, came amid reports of a COVID resurgence from the Delta variant of the virus and after producer group OPEC+ announced a production hike from August onwards.

But in Wednesday's session, WTI was back up, rising almost 4 percent to just under $70 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. ET (15:30 GMT) in what appeared to be a counter-risk rally to Monday's sell-off and despite the higher crude numbers released by the EIA.

The EIA said gasoline inventories also fell far less than expected last week, drawing just 121,000 barrels versus the 1.04 million-barrel drop forecast by analysts polled by US media.

Stockpiles of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil, however, fell by 1.35 million barrels versus the expected 557,000.