Reduced stockpiles prompted West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures to advance on Wednesday, marking the third consecutive trading session of gains, according to Bloomberg.
The bullish trend of the energy commodity is its longest streak in 21-plus days and comes after the American Petroleum Institute noted on Tuesday that supplies fell by 590,000 at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility for WTI crude oil. The Energy Information Administration, the accounting arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, is slated to release nationwide data about crude oil on Wednesday. The International Energy Agency is slated to release monthly estimates of worldwide oil demand on Thursday morning in the French capital.
Acting Defense Minister Mykhaylo Koval of Ukraine said his nation's security services are engaged in an "undeclared war" with Russia, the news source reports. That raises questions about the integrity of supply lines of the energy commodity.
"Prices have gained momentum from reports showing a draw-down in Cushing inventories," states a Wednesday email authored by chief oil market strategist Amrita Sen with research firm Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, according to Bloomberg.
At 8:39 a.m. on Wednesday, WTI crude oil futures edged up 0.29 percent, a 30-cent lift to $102 per barrel. At 8:40 a.m., Brent crude oil futures rose 0.45 percent, a 49-cent rise to $109.73 per barrel.
Ukraine, Russia continue strife
While the energy commodity's value is influenced by inventory data, the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia also is key to its performance these days. Ukraine ousted the prime minister in February, prompting Russian forces to file into the Crimea region. Russia then annexed that region following a referendum and Ukraine security services have been battling pro-Russian militants.
Ukraine has solicited Russian condemnation of the separatists' uprising amid charges that Russia is bolstering the uprising.
"Falling Cushing stockpiles are having the biggest impact on rising crude prices at the moment," commodities analyst Will Yun with Hyundai Futures Co. in Seoul told the news source on Wednesday. "Tension in Ukraine is another factor that has been driving and supporting the upward streak in WTI prices."
Iran, west to conduct negotiations
India, host of one of the globe's emerging markets, slashed monthly imports of crude oil from Iran by 42 percent from March to April, according to Reuters.
That demonstrates the effort that Asian nations are backing off strong purchases from early this year as oil-rich Iran attempts to emerge from sanctions via a deal reached with Western nations in the middle of January.
The interim deal involving Iran will be the centerpiece of three days of dialogue set to begin on Wednesday in the Austrian capital. Six nations' representatives will conduct negotiations with Irani officials as part of a drive to finalize a resolution that addresses concerns about the country's nuclear ambitions.
OPEC forecasts rising demand
MarketWatch reports global oil demand is forecast to increase by 1.14 million barrels per day this year, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The monthly demand is slated to be 91.15 million barrels per day.
A sizable amount of that demand hails from China and the Middle Eastern nations, according to the organization.
"Almost half of annual oil demand growth is seen coming from China and the Middle East," OPEC stated, according to MarketWatch.
But non-OPEC production growth also is slated to register increases this year.
The average production of those nations is forecast to be an average of 1.38 million barrels per day, which represents an increase from the 1.35 from last year.
China, the globe's second-largest consumer of crude oil, said industrial production last month fell to 8.7 percent while retail-sales growth dropped to 11.9 percent in March.
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