Bangkok: Oil futures rose today in Asia, extending a price increase that came after figures showed large and unexpected declines in US crude and gasoline inventories last week.
Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose 85 cents to $87.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midmorning in Singapore. The contract jumped $1.83 to $87.10 a barrel in the Nymex floor session after the fuel report.
Crude supplies fell last week 5.3 million barrels, the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, on average, had been expecting supplies to increase 300,000 barrels.
“We haven’t missed like this in a long time,” said James Cordier, president of Liberty Treading Group in Tampa, Florida.
Analysts said the decline was particularly surprising because refineries are shutting down for seasonal maintenance and processing less crude. Refinery activity fell during the week ended 19 October by 0.2 percentage point to 87.1% of capacity. Analysts had expected an increase of 0.3 percentage point.
Much of the decline in crude supplies was due to a sharp drop in imports, analysts said. Daily imports of crude oil fell last week 1.3 million barrels to an average of 9.1 million barrels a day, the EIA said.
Supplies of gasoline and heating oil also fell last week. Gasoline inventories dropped by 2 million barrels, countering analyst expectations for an increase of 1.1 million barrels.