Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, pushing the most active oil futures contracts to their lowest finish in about three months.
Concerns about outlook for energy demand amid the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus in several countries outweighed data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended down by $1.13 or about 1.7% at $65.46 a barrel, the lowest close since May 21.
Brent crude futures ended down $0.80 or 1.16% at $68.23 a barrel.
Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories dropped by 3.2 million barrels in the week ended August 13. Analysts had expected an inventory draw of 1.26 million barrels for the period.
Gasoline stockpiles increased by 700,000 barrels last week, while distillate inventories fell 2.7 million barrels in the week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported late Tuesday a draw of just over 1 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ending Aug. 13.
The API data also reportedly showed an inventory decline of 1.2 million barrels for gasoline, while distillate supplies edged up by 502,000 barrels.
U.S. shale oil production is expected to rise to 8.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, the highest since April 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration’s monthly drilling output report.