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WTI oil futures trading near $99 on lower US inventories

WTI oil futures open Wednesday’s trading session higher, near $99 a barrel as the latest US oil inventory report out of the US estimated that oil stocks in America took another big swing downwards, fueling oil prices rises for the US contract.

Latest WTI Oil Price

US Light crude oil futures for September 2011 delivery was trading at $98.70 a barrel, 08.15 GMT in electronic trading on the NYMEX. The August 2011 WTI oil futures contract expired yesterday.

US Oil Inventories Decline

US crude oil inventories declined 5.2 million barrels on the week ending 15th July, according to the US API (American Petroleum Institute) reporting yesterday.

Analysts polled by Platts expected US oil stocks to decline by only 1.3 million barrels.

“We continue to see stock draws. Crude oil supplies are still relatively high compared with history but it’s undoubtedly positive for oil prices.” said Ben Westmore, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne, who forecasts that US WTI oil prices will average $113 a barrel in the third quarter of 2011.

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