Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday, as a report from the Department of Energy showed that stockpiles of crude, gasoline and heating oil all increased in the week ending July 16.
The price of the ICE West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude oil futures contract fell .46 percent to $77.22 per barrel at 1 p.m. EST.
“This is a pretty clear case of supply outpacing demand,” Tim Evans, an analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, told Bloomberg News.
In the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s efforts to shut down the oil-spewing Deepwater Horizon well may finally bear fruit. After completely sealing the leak with a new cap earlier, the engineers began conducting tests to see if the well still had structural integrity, monitoring the pressure exerted by escaping oil.
The tests indicate that the well is basically intact, meaning that it can be permanently sealed by plugging it with mud and cement. BP now wants to begin filling the top of the well with drilling mud as soon as July 24, closing off the flow of oil. It’s afraid that a tropical storm may disrupt the drilling of the relief well.
BP also agreed to sell oil fields in the U.S., Canada and Egypt to Apache Corporation for $7 billion in order to raise cash for a $20 billion relief fund.
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