Oil futures got a shot in the arm on Wednesday following a report showing the largest weekly drop in domestic crude inventories so far this year.
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels for the week ended June 26. That followed three consecutive weeks of increases.
As a result, West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 55 cents or 1.40% per barrel settling at $39.82 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Global benchmark Brent oil for September was up 65 cents or 1.58% to $41.92 on ICE Futures Europe.
“Refining activity above 14 million barrels per day for the first time since late March, [and] combined with a drop in imports and exports holding above three million barrels per day, has led to the largest crude inventory draw of the year so far,” Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, told MarketWatch.
Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast an average crude supply decline of 2.7 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a fall of 8.2 million barrels. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub edged down by about 200,000 barrels for the week.
The decrease in U.S. supplies has injected some optimism in crude markets, which have been whipsawed by anxieties around the growing spread of COVID-19 and the impact of the contagion on crude demand.
Natural gas prices were up 8 cents or 4.5% to hit $1.67 per MMBtu.
But some local stocks fell in Wednesday’s trading. Phillips 66 dropped $2.79 or 3.89% to reach $69 per share. ONEOK dropped 3.14% or $1.04 per share to reach $32.18.
Marathon Oil dropped 17 cents or 2.78% and settled at $5.95. EOG Resources fell 80 cents or 1.58% to reach $49.86 at the end of the day.
ConocoPhillips dropped 3% or $1.28 per share and finished the day at $40.74. SandRidge Energy ended the day up one cent or less than 1% and settled at $1.30 per share.
Devon ENergy fell 2.12% or 24 cents a share to $11.10.