WTI Oil Fell As Investors Sold Crude Before Expiration

by on August 19, 2014 3:55 pm BST

WTI oil declines as September contract nears expiration. The investors are likely purchased cheaper contracts for future delivery. Brent was little changed after falling yesterday to the lowest level in almost 14 months.

The front month’s premium over the next month narrowed from the highest since 2008. September WTI crude futures expire tomorrow. Brent plunged yesterday as Kurdish and Iraqi forces regained control of Iraq’s largest dam, stalling an advance by Islamic State militants.

WTI for September delivery fell 53 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $95.88 a barrel at 9:32 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more-active October contract climbed 13 cents to $93.88. The September contract settled $2.66 higher than its October counterpart yesterday, the widest premium between front-month and second month futures since September 2008.

Brent for October settlement slipped 16 cents to $101.44 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It decreased 1.9 percent to $101.60 yesterday, the lowest settlement since June 25, 2013. The European benchmark crude traded at a $7.56 premium to WTI for the same month.

U.S. crude stockpiles probably fell 2 million barrels last week, according to the median of nine analysts responses in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow.

Gasoline inventories probably slipped 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 15, according to the survey. Supplies of distillate fuel, a category including heating oil and diesel, are forecast to have decreased 400,000 barrels.

Refinery utilization probably slid by 0.5 percentage points to an average 91.1 percent of capacity, the survey shows. That would be the lowest rate since June. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute in Washington is scheduled to release separate supply data today.

CVR Energy Inc. (CVRR)’s refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, is restarting operations, Genscape Inc. said yesterday. Activity at some units at the plant appears to be nearing operational levels, Genscape said. WTI declined to a two-week low on July 29 after a fire halted the 115,000 barrel-a-day refinery, prompting speculation that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI traded in New York, would climb.