Oil steady after hitting 3-week top; Saudis to keep output below cap
A Bloomberg survey showed United States crude inventories probably increased by three million barrels last week.
"Investors are likely looking at Libya for a potential reason for a rally in oil prices, but this shouldn't last too long", Barnabas Gan, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking, said by phone from Singapore.
Reuters is reporting Brent crude futures eased 6 cents to $67.44 a barrel by 1519 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 12 cents to $63.79.
Yet, thanks to the shale resurgence, here we are-over the past few weeks, American crude oil production outstripped that of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader and biggest exporter.
Oil has risen more than 5% this year, following a second annual gain, as a drain in USA stockpiles and growing demand are reassuring investors that production cuts led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are working. On Tuesday, the contract fell 87 cents to close at United States dollars 66.63 a barrel.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect data to show US crude inventories rose 2.7 million barrels last week. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N1QG55J Industry group the American Petroleum Institute releases its weekly figures on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EST.
In January-March, Saudi Arabia's oil production would be well below the production cap, with exports averaging below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih said.
Gasoline stocks rose by 2.5 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 190,000-barrel drop. This indicates that the yield is higher than that of Saudi Arabia - the world's largest exporter, and a little below that for Russian Federation.
The rise in inventories came even as refineries boosted activity in the most recent week. In November 2017, crude oil production was 10.03 million barrels a day.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russian Federation, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018. In addition to its weekly statistics, the EIA will also publish a monthly report on crude supply, which may show substantial upward revisions in crude output. While Canadian production has continued to rise, reflecting past investments, pipeline capacity constraints have limited producers' options for moving their products to USA markets.
"There is ongoing pressure, largely coming from a stronger US dollar", said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
America's role in the global oil market was flipped on its head in 2017. A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
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