Oil prices were steady on Wednesday after U.S. inventory data showed a surge in gasoline inventories due to weak fuel demand following U.S. Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the beginning of the peak summer driving season.
Brent crude futures remained unchanged to settle at US$72.22 a barrel, having earlier touched US$72.83, their highest since May 20, 2019, as reported by Reuters.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed 9 cents, or 0.1 per cent, lower at US$69.96 a barrel, after reaching US$70.62, its highest since Oct 17, 2018.
Read alsoClaims by Russia, Germany on climate-friendly nature of Nord Stream 2 project misleading – expertDespite a 5 million-barrel draw in crude oil last week, stocks of petrol and other fuels rose sharply due to weak demand, according to Energy Information Administration data for the week that included the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Product supplied fell to 17.7 million barrels per day, versus 19.1 million the week before.
On Tuesday, the EIA forecast US fuel consumption would grow by 1.48 million bpd this year, up from a previous forecast of 1.39 million bpd.