Crude Oil Futures Soar on Wednesday as Inventory Forecasts Fall Short

Oil prices settled much higher on Wednesday following the release of data from the Energy Information Administration which revealed a weekly rise in domestic crude inventories that was below some market forecasts, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

May West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.14, or 2.4%, to settle at $49.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

May Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained $1.09, or 2.1%, to end trading at $52.42 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The EIA reported that crude inventories rose by 900,000 barrels to a weekly record 534 million barrels for the week ending March 24. The EIA rise was less than half the 1.9 million-barrel climb posted by the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday.

Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast an increase of 300,000 barrels despite others that expected more significant gains.

Meanwhile, April natural gas ended at $3.175 per million British thermal units, up 7.9 cents, or 2.6%, back on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract expired at the end of the day’s settlement.

The EIA will issue its weekly update on Thursday for domestic natural gas supplies, with an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts forecasting a decline of 43 billion cubic feet.