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Oil prices mixed in choppy trade, rising USA production weighs
21 April 2017, 03:12 | Jan Cross
Oil slides as US pumps more, but OPEC and North Korea loom
Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016.
Oil prices fell to a two-week low amid concerns that the global supply is far too high, and if the downward trend isn't bucked crude could decline for the third day in a row.
U.S. gasoline inventories hit 259.1 MMbbls for the week ending February 10, 2017-the highest level ever.
USA crude for May delivery recently traded up 2 cents, or 0.04%, to $50.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 85 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $54.04 a barrel as of 12:31 p.m. EDT, while US crude futures CLc1 lost 77 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $51.64 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' kingpin Saudi Arabia said the cartel is likely to reach an agreement next month to extend its production cuts.
"The domestic increases continue to not only offset overseas production cuts, but potentially more importantly, they also weigh on OPEC's morale as they are watching market share continue to slip away as a result of their own policy actions", he said in his latest report.
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"The rebalancing in USA crude stocks may have got under way, but concerns about further gasoline builds are rife even as the US summer driving season shifts up a gear", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst with PVM Oil Associates.
James Williams, president of energy consultant WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas, said the minister's bullish statement did not lift prices much because of growing US shale production.
Traders said that the gains came on the back of a reduction in commercial U.S. crude stocks, which fell by 1 million barrels last week to 532.34 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"At 532.3 million barrels, USA crude oil inventories are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year".
"Saudi's done a good job of managing the rhetoric", said Michael Hiley, a trader at LPS Futures LLC.
"Rising oil output in the US remains the predominant bearish factor for prices despite growing anticipation that OPEC will extend a self-imposed cap on its oil production in the upcoming May meeting", Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy Global Gas Analytics said recently.
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