– Oil prices declined on Wednesday after a slight increase in the previous session amid a surprise surge in US crude inventories reported last week.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery fell 0.42% to $66.88 per barrel at 12:22AM ET (04:22 GMT), while Brent Oil Futures dropped 0.3% to $71.94 for one barrel.
After rising to over $72 per barrel yesterday, Brent oil went back on the dropping track, as the American Petroleum Institute revealed a rise of over 600,000 barrels in US crude stockpiles last week.
Meanwhile, Libya reopened its ports and started exporting oil again after the closures of its oil field. The country’s National Oil Corporation announced its force majeure on exports from Zawiya oil terminal on Tuesday, in a bid to boosting national production.
The organisation’s Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said, “We have to prioritize local demand for fuel. For the time being all, Sharara production will go to the refinery.”
Iran, the world’s fifth largest oil producer, filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice against sanctions imposed by the U.S. in May, alleging that they violated a 1955 bilateral treaty between the two countries. The Islamic country asked the sanctions to be lifted provisionally.
On Monday, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington might grant waivers to Iran oil purchases.
In other news, BMI Research said on Wednesday that the burgeoning US-China trade tensions can drag on the global economic outlook.
“Slowing trade growth will weigh on physical demand for oil, with the shipping, road and air freight sectors an important pillar of demand globally,” BMI said.
Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said: “The combination of the supply-side effect and the potential for less demand as a result of trade woes that we’re seeing are prompting people to take some of the long bets off oil right now.”
Official numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration are due at 10:30AMET (14:30 GMT) on Wednesday.
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