Crude prices climb as U.S. stockpile falls

HOUSTON – The nation’s crude stockpile sank by 5.2 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday, as imports declined by nearly 1 million barrels a day.

“It’s a fairly sizable amount, and it’s the result of a significant decline in imports,” said Andy Lipow, an oil market analyst at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. That’s in part because climate activists had shut down Canadian pipelines carrying oil into the United States, he added.

U.S. crude prices climbed $1.60 to $51.89 a barrel in early trading Wednesday, near its highest point in more than a year.

Imported oil dropped below 7 million barrels a day in the week ended October 14, the EIA said, as refiners opted to use up stored commercial oil rather than purchase more imports to replace the missing barrels. Analysts reportedly had expected storage tanks to fill up another 2.2 million barrels.