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WTI futures sent reeling by smaller than expected decline in oil stocks

21 April 2017, 04:43 | Winston Chapman

WTI futures sent reeling by smaller than expected decline in oil stocks

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Brent crude futures were at $53.08 per barrel at 0430 GMT, up 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

The analysts even suggest that the OPEC deal could offset any gains in USA shale output over the next 6 to 9 months.

Gasoline stockpiles, however, edged up by 1.5 million barrels, defying expectations for a decline of 2 million, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Platts.

Looking ahead for oil, "the next big market mover looks to be when OPEC meets regarding an extension in production cuts on May 25", said Macaluso.

May output is expected to rise by 123,000 barrels per day to 5.19 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's drilling productivity report.

"The rebalancing in US crude stocks may have got under way, but concerns of further gasoline builds are rife even as the USA summer driving season shifts up a gear", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst with PVM Oil Associates.

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Oil dropped the most in six weeks after a report showed US gasoline supplies increased for the first time since February, while crude output keeps rising.

June Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.99 a barrel. USA crude futures were up 43 cents at.87 a barrel.

US oil prices fell almost 4 percent Wednesday, reaching a session low of $50.28 per barrel and marking their biggest daily percentage decline since early March, as inventories posted a less-than-expected decline for the week.

By comparison, Saudi exports in January this year-when the OPEC deal took effect-were 7.713 million bpd. John Saucer, vice president of research and analytics at Mobius Risk Group in Houston, said the market was not jittery, noting low volatility and weak oil prices, which he said doesn't "really signal a market that's too concerned about geopolitical hotspots".

OPEC will meet May 25, when a decision on extending the output deal is expected, but Barkindo said it's too early to say whether Iran, Nigeria and Libya, who are now excluded from the output cut, will participate if the cuts are extended.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers are committed to reducing oil stockpiles, and all countries participating in a six-month deal to pare output are committed to restoring the market's stability, Barkindo said at a conference in Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and most other OPEC members are leaning towards this if agreement is reached with other producers.



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