The latest figures published by the US Energy Information Administration showed a 3.295 million barrel increase in stockpiles to 513 million barrels during the week ended June 2nd.
The figure confounded analysts who had forecast a decline of 3.447 million barrels for the period, especially a day after preliminary figures from the American Petroleum Institute suggested an even bigger drawdown. The latest evidence of a glut coincided with a heated war of words between top producers Saudi Arabia and Iran that threatens to thwart the recent agreement to restrain output.
Iran turned furiously on Saudi Arabia, accusing it of masterminding Wednesday’s attack by Islamic State terrorists on the country’s main parliament building.
Brent Crude August futures were last trading around the $48.40-mark, with any drop below the strong support at $48.00 a barrel potentially unlocking further downside.