Oil prices soar as dollar weakens

Oil prices soar as dollar weakens

The pullback comes after an upbeat session on Tuesday, which was buoyed by expectations that weekly supply numbers would show a tightening in the us oil market. Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London dipped 23 cents, or about 0.4%, to $51.64 a barrel.

Oil prices eased early on Wednesday as United States inventory data and signs of recovering Libyan output fed bearish sentiment. Many market watchers attribute the bounce in oil prices to data released last week, which showed that USA oil stockpiles have declined in nine of the last 10 weeks.

API reported a drop of around 3.6 million barrels in U.S. crude inventories, and a rise of 1.4 million barrels in gasoline. But oil production elsewhere has been rising.

US supply continues to grow, as well, EIA data showed.

The experts said that commercial oil reserves in the country (excluding the strategic reserve) for the week ended on August 18 decreased by 3.45 million barrels, or by 0.74 percent - to 463.05 million barrels.

The IEA and Opec reports were largely supportive of oil prices. The efforts have been hindered by rising output from shale fields and countries like Libya, which is exempt from OPEC-led cuts.

The API had estimated that USA crude oil inventories were down by 3.595 million barrels lower than in the previous week, but that gasoline inventories had seen surprising build of 1.4 million barrels-a figure that pushed oil prices down on the market. This was the highest level of output in four years.

Crude oil exports rose to 936,000 barrels a day last week, up by 59,000 barrels over the prior week and 259,000 barrels more than at the same time past year. USA refineries produced about 10.6 million barrels of gasoline a day last week, up by about 600,000 barrels a day compared to the prior week.

API releases its data after USA trading ends Tuesday afternoon.

"These crude draws are primarily supported by continued high refinery margins - US refinery utilization was above 95% last week", said Jeff Quigley, director of energy markets at consulting and analytics firm Stratas Advisors. Gasoline stocks increased marginally to 231.1 million barrels while distillate stocks were up 0.7 million last week.

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