Oil edges up after choppy session on mixed USA crude stocks data

A Saudi Aramco facility. The company took the unusual step of signaling in advance how much oil it will pump and export

Russian Federation could pull out of the OPEC oil production cut deal before the end of 2018-or right after-as it has no obligation to stick with it, Iran's Energy Minister, Bijan Zanganeh said. For 2018, non-OPEC supply is revised up by 0.28 mb/d, representing y-o-y growth of 1.66 mb/d, with total non-OPEC supply reading 59.53 mb/d.

"In the longer term, the ability of OPEC to control production and prices is questionable, given the gradual adjustment of participating producers to lower oil prices and their unwillingness to cede market share to US shale producers", the report said.

After shrinking consistently for months, global oil stocks began rising again at the start of this year.

Benchmark Brent crude was worth $64.46, down $0.18, per barrel in late afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Oil held gains near $61 a barrel on signs of robust fuel consumption in the USA and as OPEC's compliance with its pledged output cuts soared to a new record. On Wednesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries raised its forecast for the USA share of global oil production to rise by 130,000 b/d to an average of 5.72 million b/d in 2018. OPEC and several other non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation began cutting supply in January, 2017 to erase a global glut of crude that had built up since 2014.

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He went on to say that "also, in the coming months as well, we tend to see demand starting to grow: we're approaching the USA driving season that provides some tailwinds for oil prices, so we do see, actually, the potential for oil prices to move above where they are despite the headwinds from shale". This is marginally higher than last month's assessment. The IEA believes non-OPEC supply, led by the United States, will grow by 1.8 million bpd this year. The contract rose 25 cents to $60.96 on Wednesday. The two countries have a combined 2.8 million bpd cap under the deal, after having spent 2017 exempted from the cuts as they recovered from civil unrest. Commercial crude inventories were up by 5 million barrels, at 430.93 million barrels. Distillate inventories fell by 4.36 million barrels to the lowest level since December.

Gasoline futures added less than 1 percent to settle at $1.9248 a gallon.

Rising global oil demand, along with supply constraints from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has helped keep oil above US$60 a barrel.

Prices also received some support from Rex Tillerson's ouster as USA secretary of state. As crude oil is primarily traded in USA dollars, the commodity tends to weaken when the dollar strengthens. A positive demand outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA) also supported prices.

But this increase in oil prices also supported USA shale oil production.

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