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Crude Oil Plunges Near $50 As Gasoline Stockpiles Rise

Crude oil futures plunged to the lowest in two weeks Wednesday, after government data showed an unexpectedly small drop in U.S. oil inventories.

May WTI oil down $1.97, or 3.8%, to settle at $50.44/bbl, the lowest since April 12.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles slipped 1 million barrels, dwindling a bit from record highs. Gasoline supplies rose for the first time since February.

The news overshadowed comments from OPEC head Barkindo, who said the cartel was seeing compliance with its supply quota plan.

"We are optimistic the policy measures have already placed us on the path of recovery," Mr. Barkindo said in a speech. "Our collective action will continue to prove effective."

by RTT Staff Writer

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