“Summer is when refineries are all running hard, so actual demand for crude is as good as it gets,” Seth Kleinman, London-based head of energy strategy at Citigroup Inc., said by e-mail.
OPEC’s biggest members are pumping near record levels to defend their market share and U.S. production is withstanding the collapse in prices and drilling. The oil market is still clearly oversupplied and “it will get more so as refiners go into maintenance,” Kleinman said.
Oil demand usually climbs in the summer as U.S. vacation driving boosts purchases of gasoline and Middle Eastern nations turn up air-conditioning.
Crude has sunk this year even U.S. gasoline demand expanded, stimulated by a growing economy and low prices. Total gasoline supplied to the U.S. market rose to an eight-year high of 9.7 million barrels a day last month, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.