Oil prices drop, despite tumbling US energy stockpiles

LONDON, September 24, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, erasing earlier gains and continuing this week’s roller-coaster ride, as traders set aside news that US crude inventories plunged last week.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery, fell 84 cents to 105.77 dollars per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for November gave up 59 dollars to 102.49 dollars a barrel.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) said Wednesday that American crude oil stockpiles sank by 1.5 million barrels in the week ending September 19.

The DoE added that US gasoline or petrol reserves fell by 5.9 million barrels.

“With the release of statistics, the market initially moved higher on sharp product stock draws, but quickly sold into the rally and prices moved back down,” said BNP Paribas oil analyst Harry Tchilinguirian in London.

Prior to the report, prices had risen strongly in earlier trade as market participants had expected sharp falls in fuel stocks to overshadow concern about weakening global demand and slowing economic growth.

Crude futures tumbled almost three dollars Tuesday on profit-taking, a day after New York crude had registered its biggest ever one-day pri