New York, US (BBN) – Crude oil prices drifted weaker in Asia on Thursday with market players looking again at weekly US data on rig counts at the end of the week and more details on a coordinated effort by key major producers to curb output.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for April delivery eased 0.15 per cent to $53.75 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was last quoted at $56.34 a barrel, reports
Overnight, crude futures settled lower on Wednesday, after US crude stockpiles swelled to a record high.
For the week ending February 24, The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that crude oil inventories rose by 1.5 million, less than forecast but touched a record high of 520.2 million.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 546,000 barrels against expectations for a draw of 1.789 million while distillate stockpiles fell by 925,000 barrels, compared to expectations of a 611,000 barrels decline.
The build-up in US crude oil inventories to record high levels, overshadowed a Reuters survey on Tuesday that found OPEC cut its oil output for a second month in February, following a record high compliance level by OPEC members in January.
In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to combat the supply and demand balance that has pressured prices over the last two years.