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 Brent crude falls to $37.1 per barrel

Oil closed at the lowest level in more than six years after U.S. crude inventories climbed to the highest recorded for this time of year since 1930.

Censor.NET reports citing Bloomberg.

Crude supplies rose to 490.7 million barrels last week, leaving stockpiles more than 120 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average, government data showed. The discount of crude in New York to global marker Brent earlier dropped to an 11-month low amid expectations that a 40-year-old ban on most American crude exports will be lifted. Futures maintained losses after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

West Texas Intermediate oil for January delivery dropped $1.83, or 4.9 percent, to close at $35.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It's the lowest settlement since February 2009. The volume of all futures traded was 32 percent above the 100-day average at 3:01 p.m.

Brent for January delivery, which expired today, fell $1.26, or 3.3 percent, to $37.19 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the lowest close since Dec. 24, 2008. The more-active February contract slid 3.5 percent to $37.39.

Read more: Oil prices close to 2015 low upon OPEC decision

WTI futures for January closed at $1.67 a barrel below Brent after shrinking to as little as 20 cents, the smallest discount in a year. The WTI February contract earlier traded at a premium to the international benchmark for the first time in five years.

Nationwide crude stockpiles rose 4.8 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 11. Crude supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures and the nation's biggest oil-storage hub, rose 607,000 barrels to 60.1 million, the highest since May.

"Prices are going to go as low as they have to change behavior," said Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist in Seattle at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees $128 billion of assets. "We're still pumping too much oil and storing it and until that stops prices will be under pressure."

Read more: Oil continues to slump as cheapest varieties traded at almost $20, - Bloomberg

Limits on U.S. crude exports would be lifted immediately, according to a bill released early Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee. The change would allow the president to impose restrictions on exports for national-security reasons and in case of a shortage. The House plans to vote Thursday, Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, said after meeting with fellow party members.

The U.S. restricted crude exports during the energy shortages of the 1970s. Producers including Continental Resources Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and ConocoPhillips have been pressing for an end to rules that block overseas shipments of most raw, unprocessed oil while not curbing sales of refined products such as gasoline and diesel.
 
 
 
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