Oil futures nosedived in New York on Wednesday despite a report that US commercial crude oil inventories had hit their lowest level in three years.
American crude inventories (excluding the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 3.2 million barrels in the week ending 13 August, according to the weekly statistical report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Oil futures had risen by about $1 a barrel in overnight trading, sinking into negatives just ahead of the 10:30 am EST data release. After rising into positive territory for a few minutes, they resumed a dramatic decline to arrive at $65.28 for the Nymex September contract at 3 pm EST. That put the contract down nearly 2% on the day and down 11.7% from the recent peak on 30 July.
US inventories totalled 435.5 million barrels – about 6% below the five-year average, the EIA said in its weekly bulletin. The last time inventories were this low was September 2018, according to EIA data.