West Texas Intermediate traded near a three-day high before a government report forecast to show crude stockpiles dropped for a second week in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent advanced in London.
Futures rose 0.4 percent in New York. Crude inventories probably shrank by 2.5 million barrels to 360 million last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data from the Energy Information Administration today. The American Petroleum Institute was said to have reported that supplies fell by 1.3 million barrels. Iran is joining efforts to back Iraqi Kurds battling Islamic State militants who have captured swathes of northern Iraq.
“That crude draw from last night did support WTI a little,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said by e-mail. Prices will “hold well” if the Energy Department data is similar, he said.
WTI for October delivery was at $94.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 34 cents, at 12:56 p.m. London time. It climbed 51 cents to $93.86 yesterday, the highest close since Aug. 21. The volume of all futures traded was about 53 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices are down 4.3 percent this year.
Brent for October settlement was 12 cents higher at $102.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $8.62 to WTI on ICE, compared with $8.64 yesterday.
U.S. gasoline inventories probably slid by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 22, according to the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts. The API in Washington reported a decline of 3.2 million, Bain Energy said.
Distillate-fuel supplies, including heating oil and diesel, are projected to remain at 121.5 million barrels after three weeks of decreases. The industry report yesterday showed a gain of 2.4 million.
The API collects information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines, while the government requires that reports be filed with the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.
“The Energy Administration figures are a possible market mover,” Ric Spooner, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “Geopolitical risk is back in play, simply because the market has stripped a lot of the premium out of pricing, making it vulnerable to any negative news.”
In Iraq, the president of the the Kurdish Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, said he’s asked Iran for ammunition to fight insurgents, according to the Persian Gulf nation’s Mehr news agency.
The conflict in Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has spared oil facilities in the south, home to about three-quarters of its crude output. The nation pumped 3 million barrels a day last month, a Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts shows.