Cushing Inventories Cause Oil Prices to Drop

Oil prices dropped again on Monday as inventories at Cushing fell  by more than half since November, dropping to the lowest level since December 2014.

Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 68 cents and settled at $61.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile exchange.  The fall  came after oil prices gained $1.92 on Friday.

Brent crude for May settlement dropped 54 cents to $65.95 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Observers say the oil prices dropped as speculation grew that the growing shale production in the U.S. will slow the drawdown of inventories at Cushing, the biggest hub in thee country.

The drop for WTI figured to be 1.1 percent after the government issued a report showing further expansion in shale output. The report predicted output from the shale regions in the U.S. could rise 131,000 barrels a day in April.

According to a Bloomberg forecast, stockpiles in Cushing, the delivery point for futures contracts were little changed after 11 straight weeks of declines.

Some energy observers think there could be an increase in the stockpiles at Cushing for the first time in 12 weeks.