Following hitting multi-year highs, oil prices fell about 2% on Wednesday, as an unexpected increase in US crude stocks forced buyers to take a breather after recent wild gains. The refusal of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to increase output, as well as concerns about global energy supply shortages, have fueled the recent rise in crude prices. On Monday, OPEC, Russia, and other partners, known as OPEC+, decided to stick to a plan to gradually increase supply rather than increase it further, as the US and other consumer countries had urged.
Brent crude achieved an all-time high of $83.47 per barrel at 12:53 p.m. ET (1653 GMT), but was down $1.62, or 2%, to $80.94 by 12:53 p.m. ET (1653 GMT). Crude oil in the United States rose to $79.78, its highest level since November 2014, before falling to $77.42, a $1.51 or 1.9 percent loss on the day. The US Energy Department said that crude stocks increased by 2.3 million barrels last week, compared to a minor drop of 418,000 barrels expected. Notably, US production surged to 11.3 million barrels per day, rebounding from storm-related shutdowns more than a month ago to reach pandemic-level highs but still falling short of the 13-million bpd record established in 2019.
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