Oil Prices Cool As API Reports Surprise Crude Inventory Build (USO)

WTI Crude Oil

Daily March WTI Crude Oil

A barrel of oil sold for more than $65 for the first time since December 2014 on Wednesday.

WTI reached a high of $65.42 a barrel, with its discount to Brent narrowing to $5 a barrel, down from around $6.50 at the beginning of the year.

"The rise in oil prices (with Brent touching $70.0/bbl in intra-day trading) has raised concerns over compliance slippage with the 1.80mn b/d OPEC, non-OPEC production cut deal".

The Energy Information Administration yesterday said U.S. crude production rose for a second consecutive week to 9.88 million barrels a day.

If you follow the energy markets at all, you already know that crude oil is enjoying an epic price rally.

"This is the lowest level for United States crude inventories since February 2015, and is a signal that demand is outpacing supply", researchers at the University of Alberta said in a note.

That was below analyst estimates for a drop of 1.6 million barrels in an economists' poll, but the report eased traders' worries after industry data released on Tuesday suggested that stocks rose by 4.8 million barrels.

US crude production rose to 9.9 million barrels per day last week, nearing the all-time record of 10.04 million bpd set in 1970, the EIA data showed.

This is anticipated to come on the back of continued capacity cuts by OPEC, improving global demand, and falling crude oil inventory levels in the U.S., all of which have contributed to the positive sentiment along with events of one-off supply disruptions and heightened geopolitical risks. Comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister on Sunday suggesting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers including Russian Federation should cooperate beyond their agreed cuts - due to expire at the end of 2018 - were supportive of prices.

The price of oil continued today to rise and was close to US$70 dollars a barrel, supported by forecasts of global economic expansion and production cuts led by OPEC. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$4.92 to WTI.

Oil prices have recovered by nearly 50% since mid a year ago when crude oil prices traded around the $40 level. The tighter fundamentals lifted both crude futures benchmarks about 13pc above levels in early December, helped by production curbs by OPEC and Russian Federation, as well as by healthy demand growth.

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