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Crude hits record high as US inventories fall

Oil prices soar to record levels as EIA reports a drop in US stock levels.





Updated on 10 Apr 2008 06:58 GMT

Crude oil prices spiked on Wednesday, soaring to record highs following a higher than expected fall in US inventories.

The NYMEX light sweet oil contract for delivery in May jumped to US$112.21, before settling at US$110.87, US$2.37 higher than the previous day.

In London, Brent Crude for May delivery went above US$109 for the first time, reaching a record peak of US109.50 and closing at US$108.47, US$2.13 above the previous day's closing price.

Crude prices shot up on Wednesday as news filtered through that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) had reported lower than expected stocks across the board in the week ending April 4.

Whilst inventories of crude oil dropped by almost 8 million barrels, gasoline stocks slumped by 3.4 million after having fallen by 4.5 million barrels the previous week.

The DoE said on Tuesday that US gasoline consumption for what is traditionally the peak summer driving season had declined for the first time in two decades as Americans curb driving amid sky-high prices at the pump.

04-Apr +/- 28-Mar
Crude 1,666,537 -7,981 1,674,518
Gasoline 221,268 --3,442 224,710
Kerosene 38,510 443 38,067
Distillate Fuel Oil 106,027 -3,693 109,720
Residual Fuel Oil 39,258 -478 39,736


Meanwhile, distillate and residual fuel oil both saw inventory levels fall in the week ending April 4, with distillate fuel oil stocks dropping by 3.69 million barrels and residual by 478,000 barrels.

Speaking about global oil stocks on Tuesday, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said that there was no need to increase crude oil production. At its last meeting in March, OPEC decided to maintain its daily production at 29.67 million barrels.






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