Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Wednesday with data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) ahead on weekly inventories with draws across crude and refined products.
ICE Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the US, rose 0.70% to $72.08 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 0.81% to $67.06 a barrel. The US dollar index rose 0.08% to 89.29.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a 1.047 million barrel dip in weekly US crude stocks on Tuesday. Gasoline supplies fell by 2.473 million barrels and distillates fell by 845,000 barrels. Supplies at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma eased by 1.015 million barrels.
Official data from the EIA on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET is expected to show a drop in crude of 1.429 million barrels, while gasoline is seen down by 227,000 barrels and distillates expected to fall by 268,000 barrels. The API and EPI figures often diverge.
Overnight, a Reuters report said the 80,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) VPS-2 CDU at Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery will shut for about a month starting next week along with the two sulfur recovery units in an update of operations at the 603,000 bpd refinery.
In economically troubled OPEC member Venezuela, Chevron confirmed two executives were arrested this week at the Petropiar joint-venture office in Puerto La Cruz for alleged wrongdoing.
“We have contacted the local authorities to understand the basis of the detention and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these employees. Our legal team is evaluating the situation and working towards the timely release of these employees.” Warnings that Venezuela’s crude oil sales and output are falling have supported prices – but the bigger worry is the potential collapse of the complex infrastructure and the aid of professional employees.
Natural gas futures rose 0.26% to $2.745 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).