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Crude oil prices gain on lower U.S. crude inventories, Libyan disruption

As OPEC executives continue their meeting in Vienna Austria today, crude oil prices recovered some day-earlier losses in Asia on Wednesday, supported by a drop in U.S. commercial crude inventories and the loss of storage capacity in oil producer Libya. U.S. crude inventories fell by 3 million barrels to 430.6 million barrels in the week to June 15, according to American Petroleum Institute (API) in a weekly report on Tuesday.

Besides, Nigerian leading crude brand is still having issues in finding buyers at the high seas as several barges are still yet to be bought and delivered by traditional buyers.

A source at the NNPC confided in our correspondent that new efforts are on to look out for new customers ahead of increasing output soon.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $75.26 per barrel at 0351 GMT, compared with their last close on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 gained 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $65.27.

Traders said a drop in Libyan supplies due to the collapse of an estimated 400,000-barrel storage tank also helped push up prices. Looming larger over markets, however, is a June 22 meeting in Vienna of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with some other producers, including Russia, to discuss supply.

De-facto OPEC leader and top crude exporter Saudi Arabia, as well as Russia, which is not a member of the cartel but is the world’s biggest oil producer, are pushing to loosen supply controls introduced in 2017 to prop up prices.