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giftedviz.com April 23, 2017


Oil prices mixed in choppy trade, rising U.S. production weighs

21 April 2017, 03:16 | Austin Hogan

Oil prices mixed in choppy trade, rising U.S. production weighs

Oil slides as US pumps more, but OPEC and North Korea loom

On Wednesday, crude prices tumbled more than 3.5 percent as US government data showed domestic crude stocks fell less than expected in the latest week and gasoline stocks posted a surprising 1.5-million-barrel build.

"We are still in a very well-supplied crude market in the U.S. The gasoline build was a bit of a surprise but makes sense given that this is the time of year refinery runs increase", Wellington, Florida-based Energy Analytics Group LLC director, Thomas Finlon, told Bloomberg by telephone. Brent crude settled down 3.6 percent, or $1.96 a barrel, to $52.93.U.S. crude stocks fell 1 million barrels in the latest week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, a smaller draw than expected. The fall in gasoline inventories could support gasoline and crude oil prices.

Crude oil and gasoline prices usually move together. United States output, almost 55% of which comes from its seven major shale plays, averaged 9.25 million b/d in the week ended April 14, up almost half a million barrels a day versus the end of 2016, and around 820,000 b/d higher than the recent trough of July 2016, according to the latest EIA data.

"The rebalancing in USA crude stocks may have got under way, but concerns about further gasoline builds are rife even as the US summer driving season shifts up a gear", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst with PVM Oil Associates. Some reports suggested that OPEC and non-OPEC producers participating in the existing pact would meet on the same day, May 25, to decide on production policy for the second half of the year.

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Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

"Saudi's done a good job of managing the rhetoric", said Michael Hiley, a trader at LPS Futures LLC.

Oil prices wavered between small losses and gains Thursday, buffeted by continued concerns about growing USA crude production that were offset by signals that other major producers remain in favor of extending their output-cut agreement into the second half of the year. Weekly imports from OPEC nations rose by 900,000 barrels, the EIA said.

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