On Thursday, oil prices remained almost unchanged due to a larger-than-anticipated drop in U.S. crude stocks and concerns that more aggressive U.S. interest rate increases would slow economic growth and reduce oil consumption. Brent crude futures had increased by 5 cents to $82.71 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had increased by 5 cents to $76.71 per barrel.
With remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank will probably need to raise interest rates more than expected in reaction to recent positive data, oil futures plummeted more than 3% on Tuesday and had their biggest daily decline since early January.
Oil prices remained nearly unchanged on Thursday as U.S. oil stockpiles declined by 1.7 million barrels last week, more than analysts had predicted they would increase by 395,000, according to official data. Late on Tuesday, industry statistics revealed a first-time drop in crude inventories following a 10-week rise. Official data show that U.S. gasoline inventories decreased by 1.1 million barrels, less than the 1.8 million projected, raising concerns about demand.
In contrast to estimates for a 1-million-barrel drop, distillate stockpiles increased by 138,000 barrels. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) did not need to increase output to make up for Russia’s 500,000 barrel per day cut, according to Angola’s secretary of state for oil and gas, who was speaking to oil ministers and executives on Wednesday at a conference in Houston.