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Oil falls below $99; analysts see supplies rising


October 22. 2013 12:37PM
Associated Press

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(AP) Oil made a brief run toward $100 a barrel Tuesday before dropping back, as recent data indicates there is plenty of supply to meet current demand.


Benchmark U.S. crude for November delivery was down 54 cents at $98.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


The November contract expires Tuesday. The more heavily traded December contract was down 41 cents at $99.27 a barrel.


Oil rose after the U.S. government said the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in September, a number that suggests employers held back on hiring before a 16-day partial government shutdown began Oct. 1. It wasn't a number that signaled an increased need for gasoline for the daily commute.


The jobs data came a day after the Energy Department reported a jump in U.S. crude supplies. The government said Monday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 4 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11. The report was delayed five days due to the government shutdown.


"This was the fourth consecutive weekly rise, during which period crude oil stocks grew by 18.9 million barrels, thereby reversing a good half of the destocking seen over the summer months," said a report from analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "The inventory build is due to still subdued rates of crude oil processing because U.S. refineries are currently carrying out maintenance work."


Analysts at The Schork Report estimated that U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are at the third highest level for October since 1930 and 13 percent above the normal range over the previous decade.


Expectations are that supplies rose by another 3 million barrels last week. The Energy Department reports that figure on Wednesday.


Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 28 cents to $109.92 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.


In other energy futures trading on Nymex:


Wholesale gasoline was down 2 cents to $2.63 a gallon.


Natural gas dropped 4 cents to $3.62 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Heating oil was flat at $3.01 a gallon.


___


Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.


Associated Press


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