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Oil prices edge up to three-month high
13 January 2018, 11:10 | Anita Wise
Oil prices edge up to three-month high
Analysts, had expected a much smaller drawdown of 3.89 million barrels in crude oil.
The catalyst seems to have been data from the American Petroleum Institute, which said late Tuesday that USA crude inventories fell by 11.2 million barrels, to 416.6 million barrels.in the week leading to January 5.
"The decline comes in an environment of a falling USA dollar, which is an offsetting factor", he added.
"The lower draw in crude oil stocks, combined with the strong builds in product stocks is bearish news for prices".
"(U.S.) crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since August 2015", said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.
Oklahoma oil producers celebrated a key benchmark Thursday as the price for Oklahoma sweet crude oil topped $60 a barrel for the first time in more than three years. The North American benchmark WTI is now trading at $63.5 per barrel and Brent $5.9 per barrel premium to WTI.
Brent crude futures traded 15c lower at $69.11 a barrel at 10.11am GMT.
"The steady, if not rapid, decline in USA crude oil inventories from persistently high refinery demand and elevated exports has firmly registered with the market", said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.
Expectations of another drain on USA crude oil inventories supported a soft increase in oil prices early Tuesday, though a reversal may be overdue.
Crude oil futures surged again Thursday, blasting through $64 a barrel as the dollar weakened versus major rivals. Also, the dollar fell in a broad sell-off after a report that China was ready to slow or halt its US treasury purchases.
US energy companies added 10 oil rigs this week, the biggest increase since June, bringing the total rig count to 752, the most since September, General Electric Co's GE.N Baker Hughes energy services firm said.
Oil remained on shaky ground as a bullish run-up in prices appears to have risk of deflating. That follows the global benchmark's rally to $70/bbl on Thursday amid a steady run of diminishing US crude stockpiles and healthy demand.
Markets may react later in the day when drilling services company Baker Hughes releases its weekly tally on exploration and production activity.
Oil markets have so far been generally supported by a production cut led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation that started in January a year ago and is set to last through 2018.
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