Brent crude price edges towards $70 as US oil stocks fall unexpectedly

Emma Haslett
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Inventories of oil in the US are at their highest in "at least the last 80 years", the EIA said (Source: Getty)

The price of oil edged towards $70 a barrel this afternoon after new data showed stockpiles of US crude oil had fallen for the first time since the beginning of the year.

The Energy Information Administration showed stocks had fallen unexpectedly to 487m barrels in the week to the beginning of May, down 3.88m barrels.

More on this story: Three reasons oil prices are rising

This time last week, reserves rose 1.9m barrels. In fact, this is the first time since January that stocks have fallen. It doesn't help that recent shelling in Yemen - worryingly close to a vital pipeline - has caused jitters in the market.

But despite the decline, EIA said US crude oil inventories were "at the highest level for this time of year in at least the last 80 years".

The news caused Brent crude to climb to just above $69.21, up 2.52 per cent. WTI crude, the US benchmark, rose 2.5 per cent to $61.91.

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