Light, sweet crude oil prices settled above $58/bbl on Mar. 13 after the US Energy Information Administration reported crude oil supplies, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell by 3.9 million bbl to 449.1 million bbl for the week ended Mar. 8.
The drop was unexpected. Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal in advance of the EIA weekly inventory report had expected crude supplies would have risen by 1.9 million bbl for the week.
EIA’s Petroleum Status Report also showed US oil production fell to 12 million b/d, down slightly from a record 12.1 million b/d reported for the week ended Mar. 1.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Mar. 14 said in its Monthly Oil Report that cartel production fell 221,000 b/d in February compared with January figures. OPEC’s February production averaged 30.55 million b/d, according to secondary sources.
Crude oil output decreased mostly in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, while production edged up in Libya and Angola in February compared with January, OPEC’s report said.
By Paula Dittrick