Investing.com - After a brief initial reaction to the downside, West Texas Intermediate oil managed to rebound and head higher in North American trade on Wednesday, after data showing that oil supplies in the U.S. registered a larger-than-expected inventory build, while gas and distillate stockpiles both fell more than forecast.
Crude oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 26 cents, or 0.43%, to trade at $60.97 a barrel by 10:34AM ET (14:34GMT) compared to $60.89 ahead of the report.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories rose by 5.022 million barrels in the week ended February 10. Market analysts' had expected a crude-stock build of 2.023 million barrels, though the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a build of just 1.156 million.
Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, increased by 0.338 million barrels last week, the EIA said. Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 430.9 million barrels as of last week, according to press release, which the EIA considered to be “in the lower half of the average range for this time of year”.
However, the report also showed that gasoline inventories decreased by 6.271 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 1.176 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 4.360 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 1.519 million.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for May delivery was unchanged at $64.64 by 10:39AM ET (14:39GMT), compared to $64.67 before the release.
Meanwhile, Brent's premium to the WTI crude contract stood at $3.95 a barrel by 10:40AM ET (14:40GMT), compared to a gap of $3.93 by close of trade on Tuesday.
The inventory data arrived amid lingering concerns over increasing U.S. shale production.
Earlier on Wednesday, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2018 as higher prices encourage U.S. shale drillers to pump more, offsetting an OPEC-led deal to clear a supply glut and a collapse in Venezuelan production.
“For 2018, higher growth is expected on the back of the projected increase in U.S. shale production following a better price environment not only for shale producers, but also for other countries such as Canada, the UK, Brazil and China,” OPEC said in its monthly report released on Wednesday.
This would lead to "a higher quarterly distribution throughout the year with a record-high level projected for the fourth quarter," OPEC predicted.
OPEC, along with some non-members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018 in an effort to reduce the global supply cut.
However, higher prices have encouraged U.S. shale producers to ramp up output, stoking worries that the increase would upset OPEC attempts to rebalance markets.
The U.S. passed the 10 million barrel production mark earlier this year, surpassing the OPEC output leader Saudi Arabia.
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