Petroleum futures were lower ahead of midday Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported an increase last week in U.S. crude oil stocks and declines in refined product holdings.

Crude futures have not risen in the wake of Iran's missile and drone attacks against Israel last weekend and some analysts have said they believe a Mideast risk premium has already been baked into the price of oil.

But geopolitical uncertainty has dampened global economic demand expectations and that could depress petroleum demand.

The more-active NYMEX June West Texas Intermediate contract was off by about $1 to $83.80/bbl as of 11:30 a.m. ET and the front-month May WTI contract was 95cts lower at $84.40/bbl.

London-based June Brent was down by $1.10 to $88.9/bbl and July Brent was off $1.05 to $88.20/bbl.

Gasoline futures were underperforming distillate contracts. The more-active NYMEX June RBOB contract was off by 4.4cts to $2.7475/gal and May RBOB was 4.8cts lower at $2.7745/gal.

The NYMEX June ULSD contract was down 1.9cts to $2.6385/gal and May ULSD was off 2cts to $2.631/gal.

EIA at mid-morning reported U.S. distillate stocks fell by almost 2.8 million bbl and gasoline inventories dropped by 1.2 million bbl in the week ended Friday.

The agency said U.S. commercial crude oil stocks rose last week by 2.7 million bbl.

OPIS early on Wednesday reported Valero Energy has begun scheduled maintenance on its 195,000 b/d refinery in Memphis, Tenn., a key fuel supplier for the fast-growing Western Tennessee and Eastern Arkansas markets.

The company began the work this week and production is likely to be offline for about 30 days, sources said.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

--Reporting by Frank Tang,; Editing by Jeff Barber,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-17-24 1216ET