MELBOURNE: Oil fell from the highest close in two days after an industry report signaled that U.S. crude stockpiles declined less than expected. International talks on Iran’s nuclear program ended without an agreement.
Futures slipped as much as 0.3% in New York. Crude supplies dropped 550,000 barrels last week, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. An Energy Department report today is forecast to show they declined 1.3 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Iran and world powers failed to reach a breakthrough after two days of talks aimed at alleviating the threat of military strikes on the second-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Oil for July delivery, which expires today, dropped as much as 28 cents to US$83.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at US$83.84 at 11:32 a.m. Sydney time. It rose 0.9% yesterday to US$84.03, the highest close since June 15. The more-actively traded August contract decreased 18 cents to US$84.17. Front-month prices are down 15% this year.
Brent oil for August settlement declined 13 cents to US$95.63 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The front-month price for the European benchmark contract was at a premium to West Texas Intermediate of US$11.46, compared with US$11.41 yesterday.
The API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey. (Bloomberg/T07/aph)