Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

USA crude stocks fall, but gasoline, distillates up

USA crude stocks fall, but gasoline, distillates up

Oil futures rose on Wednesday as US crude stockpiles fell last week, countering doubts about Russia's willingness to extend substantially a deal among exporters to curb output.

Most of the adjustments came from the long side of the market, where portfolio managers reduced the number of long positions in Brent, WTI and gasoline in a sign of profit-taking after a strong price rally.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange, crude oil for delivery in January was trading down by Rs 21, or 0.56 per cent at Rs 3,731 per barrel in 88 lots. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 33 cents, or 0,6%, at US$57,78 a barrel, after falling 1,4% in the last session.

Oil prices slipped in Asian trade yesterday amid uncertainty over a possible extension of output cuts by major crude producers and expectations of higher supply as the Keystone pipeline restarts.

The committee will grapple with rising USA production, which hit 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd) in the most recent week, a new weekly record.

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Oil traders have largely priced in a full nine-month extension of the current production agreement between OPEC and its non-OPEC allies, and ministers have done little to temper expectations.

USA crude inventories fell by 3.4 million barrels last week to 453.7 million, exceeding market expectations, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report Wednesday.

Gasoline inventories, according to the API, saw a draw this week, of 1.529 million barrels for the week ending November 24, compared to forecasts of a 1.17-million-barrel build.

Analysts on average forecast a decrease in oil reserves by 3 million barrels, as well as an increase in distillate stocks by only 160,000 barrels.

Total domestic crude production, however, climbed by 24,000 barrels to 9.68 million barrels a day last week. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.3 percentage points.

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