Oil Price Nears $50/Barrel on Expected U.S. Stockpiles

Oil prices jumped by more than one percent on Wednesday, May 25 moving close to $50 a barrel and beyond on expectations that the United States government will report a large crude stockpiles drawdown for last week.

Also, the shortfall in some producing countries like Nigeria and Libye has accelerated the recovery in oil prices, which are up nearly 90 per cent from winter lows of around $27 for Brent crude and about $26 for the U.S. West Texas Intermediate.

Earlier in the week, he American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade group, said U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.1 million barrels in the week to May 20, twice what analysts expected.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it would issue an official stockpiles data later yesterday.

Wildfires in Canada’s oil sands region as well as a near economic meltdown in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member Venezuela cut nearly four million barrels per day in global crude flows.

“We look for new highs … in carrying this advance higher to around the $52-52.50 area before this spring advance fully plays out,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Chicago-based oil markets consultancy Ritterbusch & Co.