Thomson ReutersWorker grabs a nozzle at a petrol station in TehranBy Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – U.S. oil futures extended losses into a third session in early Asian trade on Wednesday as U.S. crude stocks last week surged to more than half a billion barrels, stoking concern over global oversupply.
Milder weather forecast for the last eight weeks of the U.S. November-March winter heating season has further dampened demand hopes.
The front month contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 40 cents at $29.48 at 0035 GMT, after settling down $1.74, or 5.5 percent, in the previous session.
That came as U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.8 million barrels to 500.4 million in the week to Jan. 29, data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
“The U.S. crude inventory is already at the highest levels since the 1930s,” ANZ said in a note on Wednesday.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 141,000 barrels, the API said.
The increase led to renewed fears of overflowing oil tanks at the key U.S. storage hub, causing the spread between prompt and forward U.S. crude oil futures to slump to an 11-month low.
Traders fear that filling tanks to the brim could cause the next leg of a rout on distressed selling.
Meanwhile, Iran is aiming for crude exports of 2.3 million barrels per day in the coming fiscal year beginning on March 21, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
That is higher than the 1.44 million bpd Iran is expected to export in February and 1.5 million bpd in January, according to data on Iran’s preliminary tanker loading schedules.
Russia is ready to implement further cooperation in the oil market with OPEC and non-OPEC countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday while on a visit to Abu Dhabi.
(Reporting by Keith Wallis)
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