Oil Drops Sharply as U.S. Crude Inventories Continue to Surge

Oil futures settled nearly 7 percent lower on Wednesday after government data showed the largest weekly increase in U.S. crude inventories since 2001 and a day after Saudi Arabia reported record production in March.

U.S. May crude closed down $3.56, or 6.6 percent, at $50.42 a barrel. The commodity has erased 2015’s gains and is now down 5.4 percent on the year. Meanwhile, Brent May crude was down $3.30 at $56.90 a barrel.

U.S. crude oil inventories surged 10.95 million barrels to a record 482.39 million in the week to April 3, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report.