West Texas Intermediate traded near the lowest price in seven months before supply data that may signal the strength of fuel demand in the U.S, the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent was steady in London.
Futures were little changed in New York after falling 0.3 percent yesterday. Crude inventories probably shrank by 1.8 million barrels to 360.7 million last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. Stockpiles have risen to the highest level for this time of the year since 1990 amid increased U.S. production. Libya’s output dropped because of power outages at some fields, according to state-run National Oil Corp.
“The U.S. supply side could potentially just keep prices from escalating, barring any geopolitical twists,” David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone today. “Fresh production in the U.S. has probably been the key to keeping the oil price from shooting a lot higher.”