Oil little changed as Saudi comments offset United States output, exports

Posted October 28, 2017

Crude oil prices fell Wednesday after United States government data confirmed a build in domestic oil stockpiles.

Futures fell 0.6 percent in NY, halting three sessions of gains. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was more or less unchanged at $52.21 per barrel.

Last week, the EIA said, Iraqi exports came in at 1.072 million barrels per day, versus 569,900 barrels per day from Saudi Arabia.

OPEC is considering an exit strategy to avoid flooding the market once the agreement finally expires, people familiar with the talks said this week. Total volume traded was about 46 percent below the 100-day average.

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Brent futures were up 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at US$58.57 a barrel by 12.45 pm EDT (1645 GMT), while US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 15 cents, or 0.3 per cent at US$52.33 per barrel. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.26 to WTI, the widest in more than four weeks.

U.S. crude production rose by 1.1 million bpd to 9.5 million bpd in the week ended October 20, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

In another positive sign, oil supplies at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, pipeline hub decreased for the first time since August, while gasoline supplies fell by 5.47 million barrels and distillate supplies dropped by 5.25 million barrels.

This is coming just as the World Bank released its forecast that Oil prices to rise to $56 per barrel in 2018 from $53 this year as a result of steadily growing demand, agreed production cuts among oil exporters and stabilizing USA shale oil production, while the surge in metals prices is expected to level off next year.

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"What is interesting is that the pop in WTI futures moved above the September 28 high", said David Thompson, executive vice president at Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker in Washington.

At the same time, oil output from US wells jumped 13 percent last week to 9.51 million barrels a day, the biggest leap since September 2012.

Meanwhile, global oil demand keeps rising.

TransCanada Corp said in a filing on Thursday that it is seeking to raise the temporary discounted spot rate for light crude on its 700,000 barrel-per-day Marketlink pipeline.

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