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Last month, deliveries of petroleum rose by 3.6 percent from a year ago to 19.7 million barrels per day, marking the highest April deliveries in eight years, the American Petroleum Institute reported on Thursday.
"April continued this year's trend of record gasoline demand thanks to low prices," said Erica Bowman, API chief economist, said in a statement. Record high crude oil stocks – the highest since 1920 – contributed to the record high gasoline consumer demand for the month of April."
On Thursday, oil prices fell as U.S. rate hike expectations lifted the dollar, but crude pared losses on worries about more supply outages from Nigeria's main crude oil terminal.
Growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise rates next month prompted investors to cash out of long positions in Brent and U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures. Those positions came into the money after oil rallied on Monday and Tuesday on worries about supply outages.
By Thursday afternoon, Brent and WTI were sharply off session lows after the Qua Iboe crude oil terminal, Nigeria's largest which typically exports more than 300,000 barrels per day, was reported closed due to militants' threats.
Workers of at the terminal, operated by ExxonMobil, have been evacuated and its tanks have been emptied, said the report, quoting traders.
An ExxonMobil spokesman later clarified that production was still "ongoing" at the terminal, although business was disrupted earlier on Thursday by "criminal" activity early.