BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's oil exports for last month were below planned levels, the country's Oil Ministry said Wednesday, depriving the nation of badly needed funds for its battle against the Islamic state group.
A record 54.4 million barrels of crude is in storage at the key Cushing hub, according to the Energy Information Administration, and an analyst told E&E that the number could climb to 65 million by mid-April.
A group of House lawmakers on Wednesday urged Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to give updates on the department’s emergency stockpile of crude oil, saying the shift in U.S. energy markets makes proper maintenance of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve more crucial than ever.
In a letter, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., Ranking Member Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. and other committee members pressed Moniz on a number of questions about the SPR and what the department is doing to make sure it is optimized for the current energy market.
Oil was declining early Tuesday after hitting a six-year low, as growing supplies appear to be continuing to outpace demand.
Data provider Genscape was estimating that stockpiles at the Cushing hub grew by 3.1 million barrels last week, said Kash Kamal, research analyst at Sucden Financial in London, noting that the increase could mean a “further downside” for West Texas Intermediate prices.
Last week’s bearish oil market trading -– fueled by news of growing stocks -- continued early Monday as investors awaited action by the Federal Reserve later this week. Traders expect the U.S. central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate sooner rather than later and they will be watching to see whether officials signal through their language whether that's the case.
Benchmark U.S. crude was down 38 cents to $44.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling earlier to its lowest level in six years. The contract fell $2.21 to close at $44.84 a barrel on Friday.
Oil prices have started back up following Tuesday’s dramatic drop of more than three percent, despite the dollar’s continuing gains and ahead of the Energy Information Administration’s weekly data on crude stockpiles.
“The release of the weekly API oil inventories report showed an unexpected small drop of 400,000 barrels in crude oil inventories for the week ending 6th March against analysts’ estimates of a build,” said Myrto Sokou at Sucden Financial Research in London.
“It seems that there might be a potential end to the 8-week build streak of crude oil inventories if the U.S. Department of Energy confirms this trend in today’s report,” Sokou added.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy says a proposal to improve the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses is getting reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, The Hill reports.
Experts are raising doubts about vapour pressure limits set to take effect in North Dakota Wednesday, maintaining that plans for state regulators to test pressure at the wellhead won’t accurately reflect pressure in tanker cars, Reuters reports.
In a net metering case in Pennsylvania, a judge has rejected a lawsuit by Solar Energy LLC, which had been challenging PPL Electric Utilities Corp.’s refusal to hook up its solar farm, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.