Oil prices declined on Thursday as crude inventories in the US climbed higher than forecasted.
Futures for the North American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slid 0.73% to $50.62 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at the time of writing. On Monday, the contract closed at $49.45 a barrel.
The European benchmark Brent crude edged 0.45% lower to $61.35 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The demand for oil is growing and the oil market has turned calm, according to Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Al-Naimi.
“The previous gains reflected the fact that the market is looking forward to more production cuts coming with declines in rig counts. But it is a conflict play between production and demand. Certainly, production is exceeding demand, at least in the US,” analysts at CMC Markets said.
Earlier this week, Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said that OPEC members should consider holding an emergency meeting if crude prices continue to fall, according to reports. The 12-member group is scheduled to hold its next meeting on June 5.
US Crude Inventories
Crude inventories in the US climbed by 8.4 million barrels to 434 million barrels in the week ending February 20, surpassing analysts’ forecast of approximately 3.6 million barrels, according to a weekly report from Energy Information Administration.
The report also revealed that distillate stockpiles decreased by 2.7 million barrels in the same week, while gasoline reserves declined by 3.1 million barrels.