West Texas Intermediate oil traded near the highest price in almost four months after a government report showed stockpiles fell the most since July at the delivery point for the benchmark U.S. crude contracts.
Futures were little changed in New York after rising for the sixth time in seven days yesterday. Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest oil-storage hub in the U.S., shrank by 2.67 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said. That was the biggest drop by volume in seven months. Distillate inventories, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, fell by 731,000 barrels, the EIA said.
WTI for March delivery was at $100.35 a barrel, down 2 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:29 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 0.4 percent to $100.37 yesterday, the highest settlement since Oct. 18. The volume of all futures traded was about 51 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 2 percent this year.
Brent for March settlement, which expires today, climbed 11 cents to $108.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The more-active April contract rose 17 cents to $108.35. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $8.42.
Cushing supplies dropped for a second week to 37.6 million barrels, the lowest level since November, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Stockpiles declined as oil moved to th Gulf Coast through the southern leg of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, which began shipments last month.