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Oil prices descending on rising U.S. crude inventories as Rivers awaits soot report

Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by swelling U.S. crude inventories and record weekly U.S. production that is countering efforts by producer group OPEC to cut supplies and prop up prices.

This is as both the government of Rivers State and residents of Port Harcourt metropolis continue to wait on the Federal Ministry of Environment for the release of its report on the findings it make to unravel the cause of strange black soot that has been enveloping the state capital over the months.

Already, the leadership of PENGASSAN weekend, revealed that the soot is coming from pockets of illegal refineries dotting the state hinterland communities, saying the only solution is a government policy that will either stamp out the illicit business or introduce technologies that will end excess soot production during the time of their production.

Still on global oil prices, Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $73.19 per barrel at 0404 GMT, down 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $67.82 per barrel. Prices were pulled down by a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showing U.S. crude inventories jumped by 6.2 million barrels to 435.96 million barrels C-STK-T-EIA in the week to April 27, the highest level in 2018. “The (EIA) report showed a much larger than expected crude build for last week as well as an unexpected build in gasoline inventories,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities. U.S. oil production also rose to a record of 10.62 million barrels per day (bpd), a jump of more than a quarter since mid-2016.(For a graphic on U.S. oil production and storage levels. The United States now produces more crude oil than top exporter and Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.