U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is in a position to close lower for a second consecutive week. The catalysts behind this week’s selling pressure are trader reaction to a new all-time high in U.S. production and continued worries over expectations of higher OPEC output.
According to the U.S. Energy information Administration in its monthly report, U.S. crude oil production jumped 215,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.47 million bpd in March, the highest on record.
In other crude oil news, oil imports from Venezuela dropped more than 3 million bpd to 13.21 million bpd in the month, approaching the all-time low 13.20 million bpd, reported in January of 2003.
Gasoline demand in March was 9.4 million bpd, up 1 percent, or 94,000 bpd from a year earlier, according to the report. At the same time, gasoline exports rose to 951,000 bpd, up 361,000 bpd from a year earlier.
Distillate fuel exports were 1.15 million bpd in the month, down about 12,000 bpd from a year earlier. Demand for distillate fuels, including diesel and heating oil was 4.2 million bpd, up 0.4 percent, or 15,000 bpd, from a year earlier.
In other news, U.S. crude stockpiles fell 3.6 million barrels in the week-ending May 25, the EIA said, exceeding expectations for a decline of 525,000 barrels.
Prices were holding steady at the end of the week because the drop in inventories in the U.S. was overshadowed by the jump in production to a record high level. Besides, at this…