March 24, 2017

U.S. oil output set to hit highest since 1970, says EIA

10 February 2017, 01:54 | Felicia Christensen

Brent Steady Around $57

Brent Steady Around $57

International Brent crude futures were trading at 54.54 per barrel at 0214 GMT, down 51 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their previous close.

US crude inventories jumped 13.8 million barrels last week, the second-biggest gain on record, as imports surged, according to the Energy Information Administration.

"The crude oil inventory build was really bad for the market but the market does not seem to care because the products inventories were better than expected and are dragging crude oil prices up with it", said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

Despite production cuts out of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude exporters, oil and energy-related exchange traded funds continue to weaken as US shale oil producers pick up the slack.

It is of course possible that the price will continue to rise, following earlier improvements resulting from the decision of Opec, the producers' cartel, to cut production. Consumption slipped to 8.04 million barrels a day in the week ended January 20, the lowest since 2014. Crude inventories rose by 14.2 million barrels in the last week increasing up to 503.6 million barrels, while expectations of analysts were by far lower standing at only 2.5 million barrels increase.

Last night's US DoE report showed that commercial crude inventories rose 13.8 million barrels last week as US refineries cut output.

USA crude supplies rose to 508.6 million last week, the highest since May, according to the EIA. "It leaves the oil price vulnerable to a move back below $50".

Traders said that this surprise increase in USA gasoline inventories had helped push up crude, although most added that fuel markets were still bloated and that this would likely prevent further big price rises.

Oil prices rose on Thursday after an unexpected draw in USA gasoline inventories pointed to higher demand in the world's largest oil market, according to a Reuters report.

"If we continue to see a decent compliance level in the 85 to 95 percent range from OPEC, and we do see inventories cleaning up in the USA, we may get another leg up", Chirichella said. "They are an indication of stronger US demand".

"Admittedly, U.S. production has also rebounded faster than our rig modeling suggested", the analysts noted.

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