Oil prices steady ahead of USA stocks data

Because of lag times and other metrics, rig counts in and of themselves don't indicate future production trends, though the downturn could be a sign of a slowdown in US onshore activity as crude oil prices linger in a narrow trading band.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, higher at $51.87 a barrel.

WTI Crude Oil (Light Sweet) price at NYMEХ Stock Exchange down by 2.00% to $47.54 per barrel.

"If the downtrend in oil inventories is maintained, then a bullish case can be made for oil, especially given the ongoing supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia", Razaqzada said.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after USA crude inventories declined for the eighth straight week and as a storm approached the Gulf Coast with the potential to disrupt oil and refined products output.

U.S. oil production also continues to edge higher and weekly data from EIA shows that total U.S. oil production is close to 9.5 million bpd, the highest since June 2015.

However, so far, the deal has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in USA shale output.

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The market would be expecting to see if the large inventory draws continue in the coming weeks, and if the draws were mostly the result of the driving season in the US. Libya and Nigeria are two members exempt from the agreement because of national security concerns and any changes in their output can have day-to-day impacts on the price of oil.

OPEC's basket price was reported $49.77 on average since the beginning of 2017 until August 11.

"OPEC crude oil exports fell by a whopping 750,000 bpd through the first half of August".

Oil prices ended higher Tuesday, buoyed by expectations that US government data this week will show that domestic supplies of crude oil fell for an eighth-consecutive week.

Global crude oil inventory levels have been on a steady decline, but remain above the five-year average. US refineries produced about 10.6 million barrels of gasoline a day last week, up by about 600,000 barrels a day compared to the prior week. However, official production data now suggests that Venezuela produces 2.2 million barrels per day but official data suggests that the real number is around 1.9 million barrels per day.

USA crude production, which has been growing steadily, rose 26,000 bpd to 9.53 million bpd.

API releases its data after USA trading ends Tuesday afternoon.

  • Rita Burton