Oil prices ticked up Thursday morning as traders disregard US inventory builds and rising crude output, suggesting that OPEC’s willingness to maintain production capped supports fundamentals. Brent crude had gained 0.06% to trade at $61.91/bbl by 09.00 AM GMT, while at the same time WTI had increased to $55.35/bbl, 0.04% from yesterday’s settle.
EIA data showed that crude output in the US rose to new record levels last week, gaining 25,000 bpd compared to the week prior, to stand at 9.65 million bpd. Production, which has now fully recovered from hurricane disruptions stood 964,000 bpd higher compared to a year ago. We expect US crude production to average at 9.47 million bpd in Q4 2017, before ramping up to 9.62 million bpd in Q1 2018.
US crude inventories rose 1.85 million bbls last week, versus an expected drop of 2.2 million bbls, according to a Reuters poll. Thomson Reuters Oil Research had pinned the weekly build at 5.2 million bbls for last week. Crude imports rose 521,000 bpd to 7.9 million bpd, while exports gained by 260,000 bpd to stand at 1.13 million bpd.
Crude oil input into refineries increased by 334,000 bpd to stand at 16.64 million bpd, with utilisation increasing 1.4% to 91%. Gasoline stocks increased almost 900,000 bbls, missing expectations for a 919,000 bbls draw. Distillates however, declined by 800,000 bbls although they still missed expectations of a 1.27 million bbls drop.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research