Oil Futures Extend Higher

Oil Futures Extend Higher

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures posted fresh highs in midmorning trade, rallying after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported stock draws for domestic crude oil and products for the week-ended March 16.

Commercial crude inventories were drawn down last week by 2.6 million barrels (bbl), according to the EIA data, while gasoline stockpiles fell 1.7 million bbl and middle distillate fuels supplies tumbled 2.0 million bbl.

On demand, the report showed refinery crude oil inputs increased by 410,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 16.777 million bpd last week, as runs surged 1.7% to 91.7% of operable capacity. Implied demand climbed 85,000 bpd to 3.9 million bpd for distillates while down 318,000 bpd to 9.32 million bpd for gasoline.

On the bearish side, the agency showed domestic crude production rose for the fifth straight week, up 26,000 bpd last week to a fresh record high of 10.407 million bpd while 1.278 million bpd higher than a year ago.

The EIA data bolsters a weekly report issued late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, lending price support while geopolitical risk has heightened after a meeting Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two leaders reportedly discussed countering the influence of Iran in the oil-rich Middle East region.

At last look, NYMEX May West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose $1.27 to $64.81 bbl, off a $64.91 fresh six-week spot high. May Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange rallied $1.60 to $69.02 bbl, near a seven-week spot high of $69.10.

April ULSD futures jumped 4.95 cents to $1.9990 gallon, near a six-week spot high of $1.9995. April RBOB futures climbed 4.30 cents to $2.0089 gallon, near a fresh 6-1/2 month spot high of $2.0115.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@dtn.com