Due to a rise in US crude inventories, crude oil prices decline for a second day

May Brent crude futures were down 69 cents, or 0.8%, at $85.56 per barrel. The June contract traded more frequently, dropped 60 cents, or 0.7%, to $85.03. The May contract is scheduled to expire on Thursday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for May delivery fell 55 cents, or 0.7%, at $81.07.U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 9.3 million barrels in the week ended March 22, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday. Distillate inventories also rose by 531,000 barrels. Gasoline stocks however fell by 4.4 million barrels.

Members of OPEC+ decided earlier this month to prolong their daily output curbs of roughly 2.2 million barrels until the end of June. Iraq’s oil ministry announced on March 18 that it would decrease exports to make up for prior overproduction that exceeded its quota restrictions.

The ability of OPEC and the larger OPEC+ to adhere to its cutbacks has been questioned by the announcement of these curtailments. According to a Reuters survey, OPEC exceeded its targets by 190,000 barrels per day in February. Iraq was one of the over-producers.

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