OPEC Sees Much Higher Oil Supply From Rivals In 2017

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Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered the latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), showing US crude inventories fell more than expected.

OPEC is expected to decide at talks on May 25 whether to extend the current deal to cut production for an additional six-months to the end of the year.

Brent LCOc1 was 60 cents higher at $50.82 a barrel by 1255 GMT (8.55 a.m. ET) after hitting an early high of $51.09.

"We saw the biggest draw in (U.S.) inventories for the year last week with stockpiles down more than 5 million barrels, and it looks like OPEC's production cut is finally biting", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at brokerage AxiTrader.

Brent crude has endured a volatile past few years, plummeting from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to less than $30 last year.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2 per barrel less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018, according to the report.


A cornerstone of the Saudi promise to rebalance the market would be to extend, potentially into 2018, a pledge led by OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation to cut output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year.

Top exporter and de-facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would "do whatever it takes" to rebalance a market that has been dogged by oversupply for over two years, resulting in crude prices below $50 per barrel. At 522.5 million barrels, crude stocks were the lowest since February.

Despite an overall drop in OPEC crude production in April, Saudi Arabia's output increased, according to a monthly report from the cartel out Thursday.

The bullish inventories report, came a day after crude prices dropped 1%, after EIA raised its near-term outlook for USA oil production and revised down its projections for oil prices.

While U.S. oil inventories fell, the country's crude oil production continued to rise, jumping above 9.3 million bpd last week, in what is now a more than 10 percent increase since its mid-2016 trough. It had expected a 1.8 million barrels drop.

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