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U.S. crude oil inventories drop sharply as imports decline

20 May 2017, 01:31 | Melvin Schneider

U.S. crude oil inventories drop sharply as imports decline

A soldier patrols in front of the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna Austria

"That is exactly what we got yesterday as the report showed falling stocks of oil and fuel combined with lower imports", he said.

The energy component was already trading higher on Wednesday after data released by the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday showed USA inventories fell by 5.79 million barrels.

Oil cartel OPEC are due to meet later this month, which could see an agreement to sustain oil cuts to help raise falling prices.

In another bearish blow to crude oil prices, the EIA, in its Short-Term Energy Outlook said that the U.S. crude oil production will average 9.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and 10 million bpd in 2018.

Gasoline stocks fell by 150,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 538,000 barrel-drop.

Paris, May 11 OPEC said today that oil producers needed to make more joint efforts to match supply and demand in the oil market in the face of rising output in the United States.

Oil price gains since November were slashed off after OPEC and other oil producers, including Russian Federation granted to cut output, valuing 1.8 million bpd.

That marked a sharp reversal from the recent trend, which has seen oil prices crash through a number of technical levels to fall as low as $43.76.

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But questions remain about the effectiveness of OPEC-led cuts, with OPEC member Libya saying production now exceeded 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since 2014 and could rise to 1.2 million bpd later this year.

The Opec report confirmed that USA oil and gas companies have already stepped up activities in 2017 amid a recovery in oil prices.

As a result, global benchmark Brent crude was up $1.24, or 2.5% at $49.97 US a barrel mid-morning Wednesday.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih said he expected the output deal to be extended to the end of the year or possibly longer.

In 2018 average output is expected to reach 1.94 million barrels per day in Q1, 1.91 million barrels per day in Q2, 1.94 million barrels per day in Q3 and 1.99 million barrels per day in Q4.

As oil dropped below $50 last week, analysts expect producers will be forced to continue the cuts.

State-owned Saudi Aramco will reduce oil supplies to Asian customers by about 7 million barrels in June.



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