U.S. crude oil inventories up, oil prices down
The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported an increase of 3.754 million barrels of crude oil in U.S. inventories for the week ending March 11.
Analysts expected a decrease of about 1.867 million barrels for this week.
The API reported a drop of 2.811 million barrels in the previous week.
Oil prices tumbled on Tuesday as concerns over supply disruptions eased.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery lost 6.57 U.S. dollars, or 6.4 percent, to settle at 96.44 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for May delivery decreased 6.99 dollars, or 6.5 percent, to close at 99.91 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
On Monday, the WTI and Brent slumped 5.8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
The marked pullback came as the talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives are giving rise to hopes of rapprochement.
“Hopes of a ceasefire in Ukraine are behind the slide in oil and gas prices,” Carsten Fritsch, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said Tuesday in a note.
Supply concerns were also relieved as “Russian oil production still appears to be proceeding as normal despite the sanctions and the problems of selling the oil,” he said.
Ukrainian and Russian delegations resumed peace talks on Tuesday, local media outlet Ukrayinska Pravda reported, citing David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation.