Seven Oaks


Sponsored By:

   The Nation  |  Business  |  Equipment  |  Features


Oil above $95 a barrel on strong gasoline demand

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 23 cents to $95.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it added $1.43 to close at $94.80 a barrel. That was still about 9 percent below its Oct. 2 close of $104.10.

By PABLO GORONDI
The Associated Press

11/7/2013

The price of oil crawled above $95 a barrel Thursday, adding to gains from the previous session on data showing a strong increase in U.S. demand for gasoline.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 23 cents to $95.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it added $1.43 to close at $94.80 a barrel. That was still about 9 percent below its Oct. 2 close of $104.10.

The market was buoyed after the Energy Department said gasoline supplies dropped by 3.8 million barrels last week, almost four times the decline analysts were expecting. For the four week period ended Nov. 1, gasoline demand rose 5.4 percent to an average of 9.1 million barrels per day. Demand for distillates, which includes diesel and heating oil, rose 8.2 percent for the same period.

Those figures overshadowed another increase in U.S. crude stockpiles. Oil supplies rose by 1.6 million barrels.

"The strong demand for U.S. oil products was particularly remarkable," analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt said in a note to clients. "This made a major contribution to the destocking and sparked hopes that U.S. oil demand might be recovering."

Stocks of distillates were 17 percent lower than the long-term average, pointing to a probable rise in refineries' oil processing as the winter heating season begins.

"U.S. crude oil stocks should then fall again, driving oil prices up as a result," Commerzbank said.

Markets were looking forward to the release later Thursday of the Commerce Department's first estimate of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the July-September quarter and the Labor Department's report on the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 95 cents at $104.29 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 1.7 cents to $2.5343 a gallon.

— Heating oil lost 2.09 cents to $2.8487 a gallon.

— Natural gas gained 5.4 cents to $3.552 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.