Oil Mixed as Traders Anticipate the US to Replenish Its SPR

On Thursday, oil prices were mixed amid speculation that the US would soon restock its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) June crude futures dipped slightly by 0.06% to $78.95 per barrel on May 02. Nonetheless, industry watchers expect a 0.34% recovery to $79.22 a barrel in the following market session.

In contrast, Brent oil futures for June delivery rebounded by 0.32% to $83.71 a barrel, snapping a three-day losing streak. Moreover, market analysts anticipate a 0.31% gain to $83.97 in the coming trading day.

America’s growing petrol stockpile pressured oil prices this week, with WTI reporting a four-day loss of 5.84%. Furthermore, gasoline inventories expanded by 0.34 million barrels after contracting by 0.63 million barrels in the earlier reading.

Energy Information Administration crude inventories added 7.27 million barrels in the week ending April 26, the largest increase since early February. It erased the decline of 6.37 million barrels in the preceding week and defied the 2.30-million-barrel forecasted draw.

During the same period, the American Petroleum Institute reported an increase in oil stock of 4.91 million barrels. The accumulation filled the shortfall of 3.23 million barrels in the week ending April 19 and contrasted estimates of a 1.50-million-barrel deficit.

SPR to Compensate for the Historic 2022 Oil Sale

In 2022, the SPR sold 180.00 million barrels of crude oil over six months, the largest sale on record. After prices averaged around $95.00 a barrel, the US offloaded its stock and said it would buy back once prices fell to $79.00.

WTI petroleum deteriorated below the price target on May 01, plummeting to a seven-week low after a three-day crash. So far this year, the American black gold benchmark has declined by 9.16% since peaking at $86.91 on April 05.

According to commodity specialists, this is an opportune time for the SPR to rebuild its crude oil inventories. Petroleum prices may soar again next week if the current round of Israel-Hamas peace talks breaks down.

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