Oil prices fall in early Asian trade on supply concerns

Oil prices fall in early Asian trade on supply concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Thursday, as traders anticipated more supply of crude entering the market, along with weaker demand.

The price of crude futures fell 53 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to US $96.87 a barrel by 0005 GMT 8.05 am, Singapore time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 61 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to US $91.32.

In the most recent week, the US Energy Information Administration said that US crude oil stocks rose by 5.5 million barrels, more than the expected increase of 73,000 barrels.

In the most recent week, the number of gasoline product supplied rose to 9.1 million barrels per day, but that figure shows demand is down 6 per cent over the past four weeks compared to the year-ago period.

Flows on the Russia-to-Europe Druzhba pipeline resumed earlier this week.

The Russian state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft restarted oil flows via the southern leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline. Ukraine had suspended Russian oil pipeline flows to parts of central Europe since early this month because Western sanctions prevented it from receiving transit fees from Moscow, Transneft said on Tuesday.

Reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency are expected to be released later today.