Global oil prices extended gains Wednesday, taking U.S. crude prices to fresh four-month highs, after the Energy Information Administration posted a bigger-than-expected decline in domestic stockpiles.
The EIA said crude stocks fell by 3.86 million barrels in the week ending March 8, compared to a market expectation of a 2.7 million barrel buildup. U.S. crude production was also down by 100,000 barrels per day from the previous week, the EIA said, but still sits at a near-record 12 million barrels per day. Gasoline stocks were also lower, falling by 4.62 million barrels, nearly twice as large as analysts had expected.
Brent crude contracts for May delivery, the global benchmark for oil prices, were marked 76 cents higher from their Tuesday close and changing hands at $67.43 per barrel in New York trading following the EIA release, the highest in more than four months.
WTI contracts for April delivery, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gasoline prices, were seen $1.08 higher at $57.95 per barrel, the highest since November 12.