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OPEC says US oil production to rise again in 2018

14 March 2018

As it had done in several consecutive monthly reports, OPEC lifted again on Wednesday its estimates for non-OPEC oil supply growth this year, but this time the cartel's estimates that for the first time, rival oil supply growth led by the USA will outpace global oil demand growth in 2018.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that crude supplies rose by 5 million barrels for the week ended March 9.

The result, says Marshall, has been a decline in global crude inventories, which has contributed to higher oil prices. But the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, said late Tuesday that USA crude supplies rose roughly 1.2 million barrels for the week ended March 9. This week, the API reported a draw of 1.262 million in gasoline stockpiles, largely in line with the 1.176-million-barrel draw that analysts had expected.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was 32 cents lower at $60.39/bbl at 11:31 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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May Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was down 33 cents, or 0.5%, to $64.31 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. At the same time, crude oil throughput rose 7.3% to 93.4 million tonnes, implying a need for more imports.

Despite this, oil markets remain relatively weak.

Oil prices got a boost early in the session from a broader investor push into commodities after Chinese data showed industrial production in the world's largest importer of raw materials grew more than expected over the first two months of the year.

"The ever-expanding United States supply continues to pose significant downside risk to oil prices", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.

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Venezuela's oil production plunged by another 52,400 bpd in February over January and averaged 1.548 million bpd last month.

The increases in U.S. production has this year exceeded the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which have been in place since 2017 in an effort by the cartel, and supported by non-Opec member Russian Federation, to prop up prices.

US oil production C-OUT-T-EIA is expected to top 11 million bpd later this year. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries acknowledged the scale of the shale boom, forecasting for the first time that supply growth from rivals will outstrip the increase in demand this year.

The EIA's report Wednesday showed that total US crude output edged up by 12,000 barrels to 10.381 million barrels a day last week.

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OPEC says US oil production to rise again in 2018