West Texas Intermediate was little changed after closing at the lowest price in more than five months before data that’s forecast to show U.S. crude inventories rose to the highest level since June.
Futures fell 2.2 percent yesterday in New York. Global oil markets are well-supplied, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Crude stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil user, probably gained for an eighth week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before a report the Energy Information Administration expects to release tomorrow.
The market is “looking for the inventories to rise again,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. Prices may be reaching a low after a “dramatic selloff” that started in August, he said.
WTI for December delivery was at $93.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 25 cents, at 9:37 a.m. London time. The contract slid $2.10 to $93.04 yesterday, the lowest since May 31. The volume of all futures traded was about 1 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for December settlement, which expires tomorrow, gained 66 cents to $106.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The January contract traded 61 cents higher at $106.15. Front-month futures were at a premium of $13.20 to WTI compared with yesterday’s level of $12.77, which was the most based on closing prices since Oct. 30.
U.S. crude stockpiles probably climbed by 800,000 barrels to 386.2 million in the week ended Nov. 8, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts in the survey. The EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, is releasing its data a day later than usual because of the Veterans Day holiday on Nov. 11.
“The market is pre-empting another build-up of U.S. crude inventories,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney who predicts WTI has “minor” technical support at $91.26 a barrel. “More of it’s being produced, and not enough of it is being consumed.”
Gasoline inventories declined by 900,000 barrels, the survey shows. Distillate supplies, including heating oil and diesel, are expected to have decreased by 1 million.
The U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2015, approaching energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades amid booming output from shale formations, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook yesterday.
OPEC said separately in its monthly Oil Market Report yesterday that global oil demand will expand by 1.04 million barrels a day, or 1.2 percent, to 90.82 million in 2014, maintaining the group’s previous estimate before a policy meeting in December.
Crude and refined-product inventories in industrialized nations equated to 58 days of consumption in the third quarter, compared with an average of 52.1 days from 2003 to 2007, according to the producer group.
OPEC’s 12 members pumped 29.89 million barrels a day in October, little changed from September, the group said, citing data from secondary sources. That’s about 300,000 a day more than the average output OPEC estimates markets will need next year, and 100,000 a day less than the group’s formal target.
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