The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark in the US fell today, weighed down by early losses on Wall Street and comments from White House John Earnest, who said tapping into its strategic oil reserves to bring oil prices down was an option.
Additionally, the Associated Press quoted an unnamed official in the Obama administration, who said the US government was monitoring oil and gas prices to make a decision whether to release oil into the market.
The plan was criticised by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said there was no need to tap into the reserves.
Executive director of the West’s oil supply watchdog said on Friday that the market was well supplied.
While US crude futures fell, Brent inched higher today thanks to support form expectations of a decline in oil supplies from the North Sea due to maintenance works on the Buzzard field.
According to Morgan Stanley, the maintenance will reduce Buzzard production from 170-180,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in recent months to 26,000 bopd in September.
Buzzard is the main source of the forties crude – which is one of the components of the Brent benchmark.
US light, sweet crude for October delivery, currently the most actively traded contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), fell 35 cents to US$95.97/barrel this afternoon.
October Brent crude rose six cents to US$113.77/barrel on the ICE Exchange.
Today’s top risers in the oil and gas sector were:
Silvermere Energy (LON:SLME), up 19.5 percent at 13.15 pence at midday
Caza Oil & Gas (LON:CAZA), up 11 percent at 7.22 pence
Jubilant Energy (LON:JUB), up 8 percent at 20 pence
Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX), up 7.5 percent at 132.75 pence
Xcite Energy (LON:XEL), up 7 percent at 84.6 pence
Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG), up 7 percent at 6.15 pence
Trap Oil (LON:TRAP), up 6.5 percent at 19.75 pence
The top fallers were:
Sefton Resources (LON:SER), down 8 percent at 1.67 pence at midday
Enegi Oil (LON:ENEG), up 8 percent at 8.25 pence
Matra Petroleum (LON:MTA), down 6.5 percent at 1.7 pence
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (LON:NTOG), down 6 percent at 0.488 pence
Oilex (LON:OEX), down 4.5 percent at 5 pence