Surprise decline in US crude stockpiles adds dollar to barrel

| May 25, 2005 | 0 Comments
Surprise decline in US crude stockpiles adds dollar to barrel

A surprise decline in US crude oil stockpiles sent crude oil futures up more than a dollar on Wednesday.

Data released by the US Department of Energy showed that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ending on May 20, to 332.4 million barrels.

It was only the second weekly decline in almost four months, and came as a surprise as inventories had been expected to rise by 1.3 million barrels.

The decline has been blamed on a slowdown in crude oil imports, which fell by 548,000 barrels per day to 10.31 million barrels per day as well as on a rising demand for crude be refineries, up 319,000 barrels per day to 15.84 million barrels per day.

The increase in refining was due to anticipation of higher gasoline demand for the summer driving season which begins this weekend.

37.2 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday weekend, 84 percent of them by automobile.

At late afternoon in London, July delivery IPE Brent rose $1.40 to $50.22 per barrel, while early afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures for July delivery rose $1.48 to $51.15 per barrel.

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