Business News Asia
Crude oil prices closed higher on Wednesday (May 25) as the long in the market remained tight. It is expected that oil demand in the United States will increase in the summer months due to the travel season.
- WTI crude futures ended up 56 cents at $110.33 a barrel.
- Brent crude futures were up 47 cents at $114.03 a barrel.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories fell by 482,000 barrels, and distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, rose by 1.7 million barrels last week.
In the U.S., oil demand is expected to increase in the coming months as the summer months approach and with them the travel season. The travel season in the United States typically lasts from the Memorial Day long weekend at the end of the month through Labor Day in September.
Investors will be keeping an eye on the European Union (EU) special meeting on May 30-31, which will discuss sanctions against Russian oil.
The European Commission had previously proposed sanctions against Russian oil imports. The proposal was to suspend crude oil imports from Russia for the next six months and suspend all imports of petroleum products from Russia from 2023, while Hungary and Slovakia would be exempted until the end of 2024.
However, the EU is still unable to reach a consensus on the proposal. Some member states are concerned about the serious impact of oil sanctions against Russia.
Meanwhile, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said President Joe Biden has not ruled out the possibility of restrictions on oil exports to control rising energy prices in the country.
The United States had previously announced that it would drain its strategic reserves (SPR), but oil prices continued to rise. As a result, inflation rose and affected Biden’s approval rating.
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Thursday, May 26, 2022