U.S. Commercial Crude Oil Inventories Buildup Pushes Oil Price to 4-Month Low

The price of crude oil dropped to a 4-month low on Wednesday due to a larger-than-forecast U.S. commercial oil inventories for the week ending March 17th.

Today’s release by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that commercial crude inventories in the United States had risen by 5 million barrels from the prior week:

“At 533.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.,” said the report.

While today’s EIA report wasn’t as bad as the 8.2 million barrels increase that was reported on the 8th of March, which triggered the oil price crash, the release spooked some oil traders. Around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, crude oil futures briefly dropped to $47.01 - a price not seen since November 30, 2016.

But soon after the oil inventory numbers came out, crude oil futures rallied 92 cents to $47.93 by 11:30 a.m.:

Oil jack photo by Blake Thornberry