Oil slides for fourth day on big build in U.S. crude stocks

Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:00pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Thursday, down for the fourth day as the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected crude stockpile build.

Some analysts said the slide could have been even steeper if not for a bigger-than-expected drawdown in gasoline supplies.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories rose by 7.6 million barrels for the week ended Oct 9. [EIA/S]

That was more than double the build of 2.9 million barrels expected by analysts in a Reuters poll, although lower than the 9.3 million barrels indicated by industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) in a report on Wednesday. [API/S]

The crude build comes amid lower processing of oil in the United States as refiners shut for maintenance after the peak summer driving season.

Gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels as less of the motor fuel was turned out last week. Refinery utilization in the U.S. Midwest fell to the lowest on record since 2010, EIA data showed.

"The rebound in gasoline demand is the bright spot in this report," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research for Clipper Data, an energy database and consultancy.

Still, prices of U.S. crude and global oil benchmark Brent were down about 7 percent or more on the week, after losses since Monday on worries about record OPEC production.   Continued...

A woman walking on a street is reflected on a switched off electronic board showing the Kazakhstan tenge's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar and euro in Almaty, Kazakhstan, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev