Oil prices slipped on Thursday, as support from a weaker dollar was offset by a stubbornly high level of U.S. inventories near record levels that suggested OPEC-led output cuts were starting to drain supplies.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers cut production from Jan. 1 to reduce record stocks of crude. But an oil price rally after the deal has been hobbled by data showing persistently rising U.S. stockpiles.
Prices were pressured by data from market intelligence firm Genscape showing a build of more than 2 million barrels in the week to March 14 at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude futures, traders said.
Data on Wednesday showing a modest slide in crude stockpiles in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, had helped lift oil prices after a week-long rout pushed them to three-month lows.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude inventories fell last week, the first decline after nine weeks of increases, but only a dip of 237,000 barrels from a record high. It also reported Cushing stocks jumped 2.13 million barrels in the week to March 10.