US Crude Drops to Below $44 as Inventory Build Scares Market


US Crude Drops to Below $44 as Inventory Build Scares Market

US oil prices were lower on concerns over the massive supplies.

Oil prices had risen earlier in the session after preliminary US weekly jobless claims data hit a low of around 15 years, indicating further strength in the largest economy in the world.

According to The Wall Street Journal West Texas Intermediate futures traded lower 1.5% or 65 cents to $43.80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

March delivery Brent crude traded up 0.1% or 6 cents at $43.53 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange of London.

US benchmark had posted small gains in early trade on Thursday as investors who bet on falling prices took profits from the drop on Wednesday to a low of almost six years. US prices dropped after data from the government showed crude stockpiles had grown to their highest level in around 80 years.

Oil prices have dropped by around 60% since June, with the losses accelerating from November onward after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries refused to cut output to shore up the prices.

Tradition Energy analyst, Gene McGillian said, “When you lop off 60% in six months, further declines are going to be really hard to come by. I don’t think it’s a bottom yet, but we’re approaching it.”

Reuters quoted James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economic as having said, “There are absolutely very few reasons to buy crude oil now and the only path I see from here is lower.”

Phillip Futures analysts said, “What is really shocking is that US proaction still continues to increase despite low crude-oil prices. Without a drop in US crude production, it is going to be an uphill battle for oil bulls.”

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at