SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell early on Thursday, weighed by the gradual return of Canadian oil sands production, reversing a sharp rise the previous day when the U.S. government detailed an unexpected fall in crude inventories.
International Brent crude futures were trading at $47.13 per barrel at 0143 GMT on Thursday, down 47 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 38 cents or 0.8 percent at $45.85.
Traders said the dips were largely a result of profit taking following intra-day Brent price rises of up to $2.95 the previous day.
“A lot of people think that yesterday’s jump was a bit over the top, so they’ve taken the profit while they could this morning,” said one oil trader.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories fell 3.4 million barrels to 540 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 714,000 barrels and the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) reported build of 3.5 million barrels in preliminary data issued on Tuesday.
The surprise draw in crude inventories was offset on Thursday by an expected increase in Canadian oil sand crude production following disruptions to over 1 million barrels of daily production capacity due to wildfire.
“We were not totally surprised with the draw after the shut-in in Canadian production,” said Tariq Zahir, managing partner at Tyche Capital Advisors in New York.