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US crude stockpiles climbed more than expected, rising for the sixth straight week, even as Opec’s oil output cuts have beat expectations.
Inventories of US crude rose by 9.5m barrels in the week ended February 10, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. That was bigger than economists’ forecasts for a build of 3.5m barrels and followed 13.8m barrel rise in inventories the prior week.
At 518.1m barrels, US crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. This was the highest in weekly records dating back to 1982.
Meanwhile, inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, unexpectedly fell by 702,000 barrels, against expectations for a 290,800 barrel rise.
And stockpiles of gasoline, the stuff that crude is refined in to, climbed by 2.8m barrels, against expectations for a build of 226,450.
Ahead of the release, West Texas Intermediate, the US oil marker, was up 0.1 per cent at $53.26 a barrel, and Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was down 0.1 per cent to $55.92 a barrel.
The rise in oil stocks comes as US drillers have ramped up drilling in response to a stabilisation in crude prices after Opec and non-cartel members like Russia agreed to curb output by 1.2m barrels per day late last year. Indeed, the EIA said earlier this week that it expects US oil output to rise by 80,000 barrels a day to to 4.87m bpd next month.