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Inventories Swoon, Oil Prices Spike

03 June 2017

Oil prices rose about 1% on Thursday after a larger than expected draw in U.S. inventories, providing some relief amid investor scepticism that Opec-led cuts will be enough to rebalance an oversupplied market.

US crude futures fell $1.34, or 2.7%, to $48.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange - their lowest since.

Crude oil inventories again fell significantly, draining US stockpiles by more than 10 million barrels over the past two weeks, the Energy Department reported Thursday.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed crude inventories were down by 8.7 million barrels at 513.2 million in the week to May 26. For the same period, an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts had consensus estimates for a decrease of 3.2 million barrels in crude inventories, a decrease of a million barrels in gasoline inventories, and a drop of 300,000 barrels in distillate stockpiles.

Meanwhile, the EIA added, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 394,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 755,000-barrel drop.

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United States crude stocks fell sharply last week, driven by a surge in refining and exports to record highs, while gasoline inventories also dropped sharply ahead of the start of the summer driving season, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Rystad Energy is predicting that before the end of this year, monthly us oil production will top the record of 10 million barrels per day that was set in November 1970.

Sales from federally operated fields excluding those from the KRG averaged 3.262 million barrels a day, the Oil Ministry in Baghdad said on Thursday.

USA production rose from 8.428 million barrels in last July to 9.32 million barrels per day last week. Higher supply from Nigeria and Libya, OPEC members exempt from a production-cutting deal, offset improved compliance by others.

Rising output from Nigeria and Libya is also undercutting the oil producers' attempt to limit production.

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The global oil market reacted Wednesday to the news that Libya, one of the major oil producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was increasing its crude output to 827,000 barrels per day.

Meanwhile, the strengthening relationship between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, two of the main players in the OPEC balancing effort, could signal a new axis in market influence.

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Production cuts by OPEC and its partners are taking longer than expected to eliminate the surplus as US shale drillers boost production with surprising speed.

Angus Rodger, director of upstream Asia-Pacific research for the consultancy, said, "There is life in deep water yet: when oil prices fell, many projects were deferred, but the ones that were deferred first were deep water because the overall break-evens were highest". Distillate recorded a build of 0.4 million barrels with a year-on-year decline of 1.9%.

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The price of West Texas crude has tanked more than 10% year-to-date to below $48.

Inventories Swoon, Oil Prices Spike