Crude oil futures dropped, as rising inventories in the US pressured both US contracts and Brent.
Meanwhile, natural gas prices dropped more than 4% after data from the US government showed that supplies dropped less than expected last week, despite the cold in eastern US.
Reuters reported that April delivery Brent crude dropped 65 cents to $60.98, off its $62.63 intraday high.
Brent surged 5%.
April delivery US crude dropped $1.64 to $49.35 after a gain of more than 3% in the previous session.
Both contracts rallied, boosted by Ali al-Naimi, Saudi oil minister saying that demand was growing. Brent losses had been tempered by the expectations for improving global demand and the geopolitical concerns about energy supplies from Russia and Libya.
The weekly US stockpiles data was largely bearish with an 8.4 million barrels increase that was bigger than expected, as reported by the Energy Information Administration.
Energy Futures specialist at Citi Futures, Tim Evans was quoted by Market Watch as having said, “The global petroleum market may be in the process of rebalancing as low prices inhibit supply and encourage demand, but the market still has a clear current surplus, with mud of the excess flowing into US inventories.”
On the Nymex, the front-March gasoline contract climbed 1.3% or 2.2 cents at $1.741 per gallon, while March heating oil traded at $2.133 per gallon, up by 1.4% or 2.9 cents.
The EIA reported on Thursday that supplies of natural gas had dropped by around 219 billion cubic feet for the week ended February 20. Analysts forecast drop of between 239 and 243 billion cubic feet.
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