Oil futures settled on Friday at their lowest level in about 11 weeks, as prospects for Libyan crude supplies added to this week’s concerns that a glut of oil products will cut demand for crude by refiners.
Data released Friday afternoon showing a fourth-straight weekly rise in the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil contributed more pressure on prices.
“As inventories remain well above year-ago levels for crude and gasoline, and as demand fails to be as strong as [some] hope, there is the fear that the ongoing oil and gasoline glut is turning its attention to distillates, as refiners chase profit margins and adjust production to optimize diesel output,”
Recent data released show inventories of gasoline are growing globally. Despite being in the midst of the annual driving season, U.S. gasoline stocks grew by 900,000 barrels to 241 million barrels, gaining for four out of the last five weeks.
In China, gasoline production will outrun demand by 9% this year, said energy research firm ICIS.
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