SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Friday after U.S. crude inventories fell to their lowest levels since February 2015.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $67.90 per barrel at 0056 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.
International Brent crude futures LCOc1 climbed 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $76.62 a barrel.
“Oil inventory data released last night showed a larger-than-expected draw in crude inventories,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels to 401.49 million barrels C-STK-T-EIA in the week to Aug. 31, the lowest since February 2015, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Thursday.
Despite that, analysts said prices were curbed by a rise in refined product stocks and a relatively weak U.S. peak fuel consumption season this summer.
Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI rose by 1.8 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles USOILD=ECI, which include diesel and heating oil, climbed by 3.1 million barrels, the EIA data showed.
“Gasoline and distillates inventories both rose substantially. The U.S. summer driving season has proven to be a lackluster one in terms of gasoline demand,” said O’Loughlin.
U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA last week remained at a record 11 million barrels per day (bpd), a level it has largely been at since July.
(Graphic: U.S. oil production, storage & drilling levels: tmsnrt.rs/2NTRJLU)
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