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Oil logs gain as investors await OPEC meeting

19 May 2017

Industry analysts say OPEC, which is dominated by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation have been attempting to use the production cuts to drive up prices but their efforts could be undermined as the U.S.is not included.

Algeria, the African oil producer that played a key role bringing together support for OPEC's output deal past year, said that most participating nations back a nine-month extension of the cuts. U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude rose 78 cents, or 1.6%, to $49.44 U.S.

In the week ended May 12, 2017, crude oil inventories were ~110.3 MMbbls more their five-year average.

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The meeting precedes a policy-setting gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers on May 25 to decide whether to extend beyond June 30 their deal to reduce output. Individuals from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries concurred in November to cut 1.2 million barrels a day of oil production.

Gasoline supplies fell by 400,000 barrels, and distillate stockpiles dropped by 1.9 million. "The extension alone should result in deeper cuts", he said, stressing that U.S. production would stop the rebalancing of the market this year.

At 6:05pm BST, the Brent front month futures contract was up 0.80% or 42 cents to $52.63 per barrel, holding firm above the psychological $50 level.

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Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft will meet agreements with OPEC on oil output reductions, Igor Sechin, Rosneft chief executive, told reporters in Berlin.

In addition to USA crude stocks drawing down for the sixth consecutive week, the EIA showed an increase in refining rates. In the most recent week, USA production slipped 9,000 bpd to 9.305 million bpd, the first decline in 13 weeks. JPMorgan is forecasting USA shale to grow by 1.05 million barrels a day next year, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a figure of 950,000 barrels a day. "So I think the people out here are excited about what the future holds, which might not have been what you would've said a few years back, so that's definitely the positive". The increase, OPEC said, represents the biggest increase among countries within the oil producers' group. The latest official data on United States demand for February revealed the biggest decline in nearly four years at 495,000 bpd, according to the agency. In the most recent week, US production slipped 9 Mbbl/d to 9.305 MMbbl/d, the first decline in 13 weeks.

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