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World oil prices edge down over expected climb in U.S. output

22 April 2017

OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signaled that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, would likely extend their oil output cut beyond June.

Saudi Arabia's oil exports fell to 6.96 million bpd in February from 7.7 million bpd in January. Prices touched $52.14, the lowest since April 7. The industry body American Petroleum Institute had reported an increase of 2.254 million barrels in gasoline inventories on Tuesday, setting the stage for crude's slide.

Crude oil fell on Monday in quiet trading after the three-day Easter break on signs the United States is continuing to add output, undermining OPEC efforts to support prices, and as the market digested North Korea's failed missile launch on Sunday.

"Rising oil output in the USA 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", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

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On Wednesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo called on all non-OPEC producers who aren't part of the output-cut agreement to join the pact, according to a news report from Platts.

US gasoline stockpiles rose by 1.5 million barrels last week, defying market consensus of a 2-million decline, according to the weekly report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Wednesday.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. US production rose to 9.252 million barrels a day in the most recent week, highest since August 2015.

At a time when OPEC and other producing nations have been trying to cut output, government drilling data showed USA shale production next month was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels per day (bpd).

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This is while the United States total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 843,000 barrels per day, according to the report. They settled 53c lower at $52,65 a barrel.

Oil prices fell by nearly 4% Wednesday, the steepest drop since March 8.

Brent crude futures were at.43 per barrel at 0855 GMT, up 50 cents from their last close.

"I can't see the reason they should push significantly higher at the moment unless there is a shortfall in production somewhere but that doesn't seem to be the case and maybe even weaknesses down to the late 40s".

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