Brent falls to two-week low after inventory shock

Brent crude dropped $1.36, or 1.6%, to $83.22 a barrel

  
A general view shows a local oil refinery behind residential buildings in Omsk, Russia February 10, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A general view shows a local oil refinery behind residential buildings in Omsk, Russia February 10, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko

TOKYO - Oil prices fell on Wednesday for a second straight day, with Brent hitting its lowest in two weeks after official figures showed a surprise jump in U.S. inventories of crude.

Brent crude dropped $1.36, or 1.6%, to $83.22 a barrel by 0130 GMT, a two-week low, having declined by 2.1% in the previous session.

U.S. oil fell $1.28, or 1.6%, to $81.38 a barrel, a one-week low, after dropping 2.4% on Wednesday.

Crude stocks rose by 4.3 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Department said, more than double the 1.9 million-barrel gain forecast by analysts.

The "hefty" stock build came "on the back of a large jump in net imports of crude oil and still sluggish refinery processing," Citi Research commodities analysts said in a note.

Still, gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels to the lowest in nearly four years, even as U.S. consumers struggle with rising prices to fill their tanks.

At the WTI delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, crude storage is the most depleted in three years, with prices for longer-dated futures contracts indicating supplies will stay low for months.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Richard Pullin) ((aaron.sheldrick@thomsonreuters.com; 81-80-2677-4134;))


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