Oil prices rose Wednesday morning, supported by comments from Iraq’s oil minister on possible extension or even deepening of supply cuts ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting this Friday. Brent <LCOc1> had gained 30 cents from the settle, trading at $55.44/bbl as of 8:35 AM UKT. WTI <CLc1> was trading at $49.94/bbl, up by 46 cents from the previous settle. Both benchmarks had gained 5-6% since the start of September, trading close to multi-month highs.
According to US Weekly Crude Inventory report published by Thomson Reuters Oil Research, US crude stocks are estimated to have increased by 3.1 million barrels (mmbbl) in the week ending September 15th to 471.3 mmbbl. Seaborne crude imports into the US are assessed at 7.5 million bpd for last week, up by 1 million bpd w-o-w. Meanwhile, based on Thomson Reuters Global Trade Flows data, crude oil exports from the US are estimated to have recovered from the previous week, to around 816,000 bpd, as exports resume out of Houston and Corpus Christi ports.
In addition, US weekly crude production is expected to remain flat, standing at 9.3 million bpd. Daily refinery input is expected to pick up to 15.6 million bpd for the week ending September 15th, up by 1.5 million bpd in the prior week, as refineries in Houston and Beaumont, TX resume operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research