Oil Falls Amid Deep Global Supply

Oil Falls Amid Deep Global SupplyOil Falls Amid Deep Global Supply

Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday as investor focus shifted back to a deep global supply glut and away from the threat of escalating violence in the Middle East, which pushed prices to two-week highs the previous day.

Brent was down 94 cents at $45.18 a barrel, having touched a low of $45.11, Reuters reported.

The benchmark had settled up $1.29 at $46.12 on Tuesday, having hit its highest since Nov. 11 at $46.50 after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet. It had risen for five consecutive days, its longest run of positive sessions since April.

US West Texas Intermediate futures fell 61 cents to $42.26 a barrel, having gained $1.12 to $42.87 on Tuesday.

Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed that US crude stocks rose by 2.6 million barrels in the week to Nov. 20, more than double analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.2 million barrels.

“Inventories surprised on the upside and it will draw back attention to the supply that hangs over the market,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro in Amsterdam.

OPEC is determined to keep pumping oil vigorously despite the resulting financial strain --even on the policy’s chief architect, Saudi Arabia-- alarming weaker members who fear that prices may slump further toward $20.