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Oil prices retreat as data point to continued gains in USA output

14 March 2018, 06:07 | Lionel James

David McNew Getty Images

David McNew  Getty Images

"Currently, there's downward pressure on oil prices with concerns remaining over surging USA crude production", Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures, said by phone in Seoul.

Between November 2017 and February 2018, Indian crude oil imports from Venezuela averaged some 300,000 bpd, down by around 20 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, industry and shipping sources told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading mixed early Monday.

Both crude benchmarks dropped by around 1 percent in their Monday sessions.

"Meanwhile, the EIA confirmed, or possibly made worse, what we already knew about USA shale output, which is relentlessly marching higher".

Oil markets gained yesterday on the back of a drop in the number of United States rigs drilling for more production and as the U.S. economy continued to create jobs, which industry hopes will drive higher fuel demand.

USA crude inventories probably expanded by 1.9 million barrels in the week through March 9, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday.

Source Commonwealth Bank
Source Commonwealth Bank

That is more than top exporter Saudi Arabia producers and almost as much as Russian Federation pumps out, at nearly 11 million bpd.

"The longer the deal goes on, it's going to start falling apart", Patterson said in an interview in Singapore, referring to an output-cut agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation.

The predictions and the forecasts for the oil production are looking grim at an expected 11 million barrels per day and more by the end of the year.

"Thus OPEC has no scope to expand production from its current level".

Brent crude, which is the global benchmark of crude oil, had opened 2018 at $64.73.

OPEC should beware as US shale producers are set to steal a bigger slice of the market in Asia, which consumes more oil than any other region, according to industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

In February, even Saudi Arabia's state oil company considered participating in these flows via a US unit, before determining it wasn't economically viable at the time. Furthermore, the futures hub at Cushing, Oklahoma is also expected to show a build.

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