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Inventory figures defy expectations

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by Brian Turner

US department of energy data released Thursday shows that crude oil inventories rose from last week’s figures, defying expectations.

Gasoline inventories also grew more than expected, while heating oil stockpiles fell.

July contracts for IPE Brent fell in late afternoon London trading to $53.10 per barrel, down 14 cents from Wednesday’s close, but the decline came after an initial rise to nearly $54 per barrel.

In New York, West Texas Intermediate futures also rose initially to a six-week high of $55.40 per barrel before July contracts fell 35 cents lower than yesterday’s close to trade at $54.25 per barrel.

Price declines for WTI were less for contracts for the rest of the year and prices for WTI contracts for next year actually increased by over $2 per barrel.

Inventories of crude oil were up 1.4 million barrels in the week ending May 27 to 333.8 million barrels, close to a six-year high.

Crude oil imports rose by almost 400,000 barrels per day to 10.4 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories grew by 1.3 million barrels to 216.7 million barrels, above average for this time of the year.

Distillate inventories grew by 700,000 barrels as a whole, but heating oil inventories fell by 700,000 barrels so that the overall increase is entirely due to a rise in diesel fuel inventories.

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News posted: June 2, 2005

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