Oil prices fell as inventory data in the United States, the world’s largest consumer of crude, revealed a rise in gasoline stocks, indicating weaker-than-expected demand for fuel at the start of summer, the peak season for car traffic in the country.
Brent crude futures fell 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $71.86 a barrel, while US oil futures fell 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $69.61 a barrel.
Crude stocks, excluding strategic petroleum reserves, fell 5.2 million barrels in the week ending June 4 to 474 million barrels, the third consecutive weekly decline. But fuel stocks rose strongly.
In another development that put pressure on prices, an oil source at the Sidra oil export terminal said that the Libyan Waha Oil Company aims to return to normal production operations today, Thursday, after repairing a leak in a pipeline that caused the company’s oil production to drop by half.
In India, the world’s third largest oil consumer, demand for fuel fell in May to its lowest level since August last year, with a second wave of Covid-19 infections disrupting transportation and reducing economic activity in the country.