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Oil Drops On Rising US Crude Inventory, Defies Expected Supply Cut Extension

18 May 2017

Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows that United States oil exports to Asia have soared from just a handful of tankers per quarter throughout 2015 and 2016, to 10 tankers in the first quarter of this year, a figure that is expected to rise in the second quarter.

"The rally in crude oil prices that started after news that OPEC was ready to prolong its production cut agreement stalled overnight, as the market awaits evidence of rebalancing", ANZ bank said on Wednesday. Total U.S. inventories now sit at 520.8 million barrels, a 3 percent decline.U.S. crude imports rose 577,000 bpd last week, while exports rose 400,000 bpd.Some analysts viewed the drawdown in gasoline stocks disappointing, as they fell by just 413,000 barrels, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a 731,000-barrel drop. In line with "stronger recent performance from the USA shale sector, we have revised upwards our expectation throughout 2017, and we now expect total USA crude production to exit the year 790,000 b/d higher than at the end of 2016, which is an upward revision of 100,000 b/d since last month's report". Inventories probably slid by 2.67 million barrels, falling for a sixth week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. USA crude oi lost US$1.02 to reach a low of US$48.05 was last trading 20 cents lower at US$48.87.

As forecasts both positive and negative escalate with regards to the outcome of the impending May 25 OPEC meeting in Vienna, the market on Wednesday maintained a positive stance, with West Texas Intermediate rising 39 cents to $49.05 and Brent climbing 50 cents to $52.15 - despite data from the American Petroleum Institute showing that US crude stocks had risen by 882,000 barrels in the week ending May 12 to 523 million barrels.

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As per the analysts, the drop down of USA crude remained was smaller than expected and the oil market was well supplied.

The news sent oil prices soaring about two percent on Monday, and a further 0.7 percent on Tuesday, helping energy groups strengthen global stock markets.

"Algeria supports the idea to extend the agreement for nine months, until the end of March 2018", Boutarfa said.

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Indian refiners in recent years have invested heavily in modernising plants to more efficiently process low grade crudes into diesel and gasoline, helping to boost operating margins and giving greater flexibility in the oil grades they can buy. An extension to the OPEC deal will be the main point of conversation when the 13 member countries meet in Vienna on May 25.

An increase in USA shale output has limited the effectiveness of the producers' deal.

Despite the recent rally, oil futures have erased most of the gains achieved since November, when OPEC and other producers, including Russian Federation, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

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Output slipped to 9.305 million barrels a day last week from 9.314 million in the prior week.

Oil Drops On Rising US Crude Inventory, Defies Expected Supply Cut Extension