Crude oil prices settled at two-and-a-half year highs as investors cheered a report showing crude supplies fell more-than-estimated, while gasoline stockpiles rose marginally last week, easing recent concerns that a ramp-up in US production would add to the glut in supplies.
Inventories of fell by roughly 1.9 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 18, beating expectations of a draw of 1.6 million barrels. Crude oil stockpiles fell for the first time in three weeks.
Gasoline inventories – one of the products that crude is refined into – rose by 44,000 barrels, less-than-estimates for rise of 737,000 barrels, while supplies of distillate – the class of fuels that includes diesel and – unexpectedly rose by about 269,000 barrels, confounding expectations for a draw of 1.2 million barrels.
The rally in oil prices comes as the Opec meeting slated for Nov. 30 draws closer amid expectations that Opec will agree to extend its production cuts beyond March, when the current phase of output curbs is set to expire.
Also adding to positive sentiment on oil prices was an announcement by TransCanada revealing that it would slash oil deliveries to the United States by 85% or more on its keystone crude pipeline.
The line, which links Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries, was shut last week following a 5,000-barrel spill in South Dakota.
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