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Oil prices down despite decreasing USA crude stocks

20 May 2017, 10:13 | Jan Cross

Crude oil futures rose Wednesday, after government data confirmed a surprising drop in USA oil stockpiles.

Brent crude was down 15 cents at $51.50 per barrel by 0851 GMT.

SINGAPORE, May 18 Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by plentiful supplies despite an ongoing effort led by OPEC to cut production in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.

The downward correction partly reversed gains from the previous session when prices rose on the back of a drawdown in USA crude inventories and a slight dip in American production.

Data from the government's Energy Information Agency, which is seen as more complete, is due later on Wednesday.

Similarly, distillate stocks increased by 1.8 million barrels, whereas, analysts expected it to drop by 1.1 million barrels. USA light crude slid 26 cents to $48.40.

Opec and other producers including Russian Federation have pledged to cut production by nearly 1.8-million barrels a day during the first half of 2016, a deal likely to be extended until the end of March 2018.

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"The recent stance of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation on supporting an extension of the production cut deal by another nine months is favouring oil prices", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 1.8 million barrels from the previous week, according to the EIA report.

"OECD stocks were up 24.1 million barrels (in Q1 2017) due to a large build in January", BMI Research said. Russian Federation on Monday joined with lead OPEC member Saudi Arabia in calling for reductions to be extended through March 2018.

Rebalancing the global oil glut is going to take more than a temporary pullback by the world's largest producers because US unconventional production is overwhelming any shortfall and coming back faster than anticipated, the International Energy Agency said.

North Sea oil output, generally seen in terminal decline, is expected to jump by a net 400,000 bpd in the next two years with new projects and greater efficiencies.

Global stockpiles have remained stubbornly high despite the curbs, in part because US production has climbed 10 per cent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million bpd, not far off that of top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Trade sources and Reuters shipping data indicated a rising number of tankers storing oil offshore China because facilities on land are full.



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