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Title: Oil steady as investors question reserve release effect

Nov 24, 2021 05:11AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

Oil costs were consistent on Wednesday as financial backers scrutinized the viability of a U.S.- drove arrival of oil from key saves and zeroed in on how makers would react.

Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $82.04 per barrel at 1000 GMT, after rising 3.3 percent the previous day.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 23 cents, or 0.2%, to $78.27 a barrel after rising 2.3% the previous day.

The United States announced it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Britain to try to cool prices after OPEC+ ignored calls to pump more.

Japan will release several hundred thousand kilos of oil from its national reserve, but the timing has not yet been determined, Japanese Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Wednesday.

Analysts said the impact on prices would likely be short-lived after years of declining investment and a strong global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coordinated release could add about 70 million to 80 million barrels to crude supplies, less than the more than 100 million barrels the market has priced in.

Attention now turns to how the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia, and their allies, known collectively as OPEC+, will react to the joint release of reserves when they meet on 2 December to discuss policy.

Meanwhile, US crude and gasoline inventories rose last week, while distillate stocks fell, market sources said, citing figures from the American Petroleum Institute.

Crude inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels in the week ended November 19, while analysts had expected a decline of about 500,000 barrels.

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