Oil takes heart from decline in U.S. stocks

Industry group American Petroleum Institute reported that crude prices also gained support by the fall in U.S. inventory, a 5.8 million barrel decline. "And it looks like OPEC's production cut is finally biting", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader.

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.

Brent crude jumped back above US$50 on the news and stayed there, buoyed by the ministers' comments, while WTI, which last Friday slipped below US$45 a barrel, regained some ground, settling yesterday at US$47.91 a barrel.

TOKYO: Oil futures rose in Asian trading on Wednesday after Reuters reported Saudi Arabia would cut supplies to the region as OPEC battles against rising USA output that is threatening to derail its attempts to end a sustained global glut in crude.

Calling on USA to join in the rebalancing of global oil market, OPEC said "a large part of the excess supply overhang contained in floating storage has been reduced and the improvement in the world economy should help support oil demand". USA light crude CLc1 oil ended up $1.45 higher at $47.33 a barrel.

WTI crude is forecast to average $55.10 a barrel in 2018, while Brent is forecast at $57.10.

The oil nations decided late previous year on an output cut of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to reduce global oil inventories.

Stockpiles of gasoline, one of the products that crude is refined into unexpectedly fell by 150,000 barrels, against expectations for a build of 65,400 barrels. But oil slumped in recent weeks as rising USA production undermined the OPEC-led efforts to reduce a global crude glut.

U.S. inventories fell by 5.25 million barrels during the week ended May 5.

By 11:12 a.m., USA crude futures CLc1 were up $1.30, or 2.8 percent, at $47.18 a barrel, and Brent crude LCOc1 rose 2.5 percent, or $1.25, to $49.98 a barrel.

Crude futures rose on the data after enduring weeks of pressure over worries that a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce supply was not having the desired effect.

The Saudi oil giant made a decision to cut oil supplies to the Asian market in June by around 7 million barrels, a source told Reuters, as part of a wider OPEC agreement to help buoy prices.

US oil production continued to rise, jumping above 9.3 million bpd last week, the highest since August 2015.

The EIA will release official data on US oil stocks and production later Wednesday.

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