Oil prices drop as US stockpiles swell

America’s record production adding to decline in oil prices

Vision 4 Fund Distributors Vice President Heather Zumarraga on the outlook for oil prices and the state of the markets.

Oil prices dropped on Thursday even though the Trump administration officially ended waivers that had been granted to some nations allowing them to continue importing oil from Iran.

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On Thursday, WTI crude oil prices fell by nearly 3.8 percent to $61.19 per barrel, while Brent Crude dropped to $69.95 per barrel.

There were concerns oil prices could spike as President Trump looks to drive Iran's oil exports to zero by ending exemptions to the sanctions which were granted to eight countries that buy Iranian oil.

However, it was fears about oversupply that appeared to dominate on Wall Street.

Government data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles rose to their highest levels since Sept. 2017 last week, jumping 9.9 million to 471 million. Meanwhile, production hit a record high 12.3 million barrels per day.

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And while OPEC members agreed to curb output by 1.2 million barrels per day for the first half of 2019 at their December meeting, data from Russia this week showed it did not meet its target for production cuts.

As previously reported by FOX Business, it was feared Trump’s decision to end the sanctions waivers could result in a spike in U.S. gasoline prices – if oil moved higher. Crude oil accounts for more than half of the retail price of U.S. regular gasoline.

Gas prices are already at their highest level so far this year, with the national average at $2.88 per gallon.

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President Trump has said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia “and others” about increasing oil production to offset the decline and “all are in agreement.”

Iran exported 1.4 million barrels per day during the first three months of this year, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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