Friday, February 28, 2014

WTI Crude Trims Monthly Gain and Moves Closer to Brent

West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a second day, trimming a monthly gain. Brent swung between gains and losses in London.

Futures decreased as much as 0.5 percent in New York. Brent declined to the lowest in two weeks yesterday as gunmen occupied government buildings in Ukraine's Crimea region and Russia put fighter planes on alert. WTI's Promo Codes to the European benchmark crude has narrowed this month to the smallest since October as winter storms bolstered U.S. heating-fuel use and stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell with the opening of a new pipeline.

"The draws that we have been seeing have been seasonal," said Jonathan Barratt, the chief executive officer of Barratt's Bulletin in Sydney. "Oil has been up at these levels because of weather events. The demand situation is weak."

WTI for April delivery fell as much as 53 cents to $101.87 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $102.06 at 11 a.m. Sydney time. The contract fell 19 cents to $102.40 yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 46 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 4.7 percent this month.

Brent for April settlement was at $108.89, down 7 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a $6.83 premium to WTI. It settled yesterday at $6.56, the narrowest since October 4, and ended January at $8.91.

Cushing Stockpiles

Inventories at Cushing, the delivery point for WTI contracts, decreased by 1.08 million barrels to 34.8 million last week, the lowest since October, the Energy Information Administration reported this week. TransCanada Corp. began moving crude in January to the Texas Gulf Coast from the hub via the southern portion of its Keystone XL pipeline.

Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel, expanded by 338,000 barrels last week to 113.1 million barrels, according to the EIA, the Energy Department's statistical arm. That's about 25 percent below the five-year average of 141 million.

Output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped to a two-year low. Production this month by the 12-members of OPEC fell 11,000 barrels a day to an average 29.877 million from 29.888 million in January, the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed. It was the least since June 2011. Last month's total was unrevised.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pratish Narayanan at

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