Oil was down Friday morning in Asia even as data released on Thursday said U.S. fuel inventories fell and demand surged as economic recovery drove consumption.
Brent oil futures fell 0.32% to $73.88 by 10:10 PM ET (2:10 AM GMT) and crude oil WTI futures edged down 0.18% to $72.81.
Crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a draw of 6.866 million barrels. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a 4.033 million-barrel draw, while a 6.718 million-barrel draw was recorded during the previous week. The EIA also said fuel demand surged to 10 million barrels a day in the week before Jul. 4 U.S. holiday.
Meanwhile, crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute released a day before showed a draw of 7.983 million barrels.
After an 11% gain in June, the oil market faces challenges this month amid rising uncertainties for both supply and demand.
The U.S. benchmark is set to post the first weekly decline since the middle of May 2021, with an ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates about supply increase and the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant clouding the market.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) is yet to reach a decision on supply policy and could keep output steady in August, as members may add barrels unilaterally. Meanwhile, fuel consumption rose, driven by economic reopenings in the U.S. and Europe but overshadowed by the spread of the Delta variant.