Oil falls for the third time in four days as crude stockpiles expand

Khalid A Al-Falih is new chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil, world’s largest crude exporter

Crude inventories thought to have increased by 3.3 million barrels last week, before an Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters.

Crude inventories thought to have increased by 3.3 million barrels last week, before an Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters.

 

Oil fell for the third time in four days before US government data forecast to show crude stockpiles expanded further from a record.

Futures dropped as much as 0.9 per cent in New York. Crude inventories probably increased by 3.3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before an Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman named Khalid A Al-Falih as chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil, the world’s biggest crude exporter, replacing oil minister Ali al-Naimi in that role, according to state television.

Oil’s rally from a six-year low in March has been stymied by signs a global supply glut, that drove prices into a bear market last year, will persist.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which pumps about 40 per cent of the world’s crude, has resisted calls to cut output even as the US produces near the fastest pace in more than three decades.

“The oil market is far from being balanced,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS in Zurich.

“We believe there are still risks in the second quarter that warrant a cautious stance in taking on some long exposure.”

West Texas Intermediate for June delivery declined as much as 52 cents to $56.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $56.60 earlier this morning.

Total volume was about 58 per cent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Prices have advanced 19 per cent in April, set for the biggest monthly gain since May 2009.

- Bloomberg