oil shale worker drilling

Oil prices slumped Wednesday, extending losses after their worst month in two years, after data showed US crude inventories rose unexpectedly.

West Texas Intermediate dropped 1.2% to $67.60 per barrel at 10:35 a.m. ET. Brent, the international benchmark, was down 1.7% to $72.99 a barrel.

US commercial crude inventories jumped by 3.8 million barrels to in the week ending July 27, the Energy Information Administration said.

Analysts had expected a drawdown of between 2.5 and 3 million barrels last week, according to Reuters. Unofficial estimates from the American Petroleum Institute, a group that represents oil and gas producers, on Tuesday showed a crude inventory build of 5.59 million barrels.

“Oil prices have extended losses today after an unexpected build in US crude stockpiles encouraged sellers to attack the commodity,” said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga in an email. “Could the party be coming to an end for bulls?”

Crude prices saw the biggest monthly declines in two years in July, shedding about 7% after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other supply-cutting countries led by Russia agreed to roll back coordinated production constraints that had been bolstering prices since last year.

The cartel ramped up production to the highest level of 2018 last month, according to a Reuters survey out Monday, with an output boost of about 70 million barrels per day. 

WTI is up about 40% year-over-year. 

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