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NEW YORK: US commercial crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly last week, while crude in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell by a record amount as refiners’ inputs rose to their highest since January 2020, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 2 million barrels in the week to June 3 to 416.8 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.9 million-barrel drop.

SPR crude stocks fell by record 7.3 million barrels to 519.3 million, their lowest since March 1987.

Refinery crude runs rose by 354,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said.

“The commercial crude build is in part due to inventory shifts from the drawdowns in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but those inventories continue to move aggressively lower and that’s the expectation for the next several months,” said Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging.

“That’s a bullish consideration.”

Brent and US West Texas Intermediate oil futures rose immediately following the data release, along with gasoline and distillate futures.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.6 million barrels in the last week, EIA said.

Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.6 percentage points in the week.

US gasoline stocks fell by 800,000 barrels in the week to 218.2 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel rise. 

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 2.6 million barrels in the week to 109 million barrels, more than double forecasts for a 1.1 million-barrel rise, the EIA data showed.

Net US crude imports rose by 1.69 million barrels per day, EIA said. 

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