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Oil Edges Lower on Bets for Sizable Increase in U.S. Crude Supplies

CommoditiesFeb 14, 2018 03:37AM ET
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© Reuters. Oil declines ahead of weekly EIA supply data

Investing.com - Crude prices ticked lower on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the day will show a big buildup in U.S. oil and fuel supplies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended Feb. 9 at 10:30AM ET (1530GMT).

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories rose by 3.94 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations for a gain of 2.82 million barrels.

The API report also showed an increase of 4.63 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks, which include motor diesel and heating oil, rose by about 1.1 million barrels.

There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures shed 40 cents, or around 0.6%, to $58.81 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0835GMT). Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 33 cents, or roughly 0.5%, to $62.41 a barrel.

Oil prices finished lower on Tuesday after the International Energy Agency raised concerns about a ramp-up in output by non-OPEC producers.

The commodity has been on the backfoot recently as investors worried over soaring U.S. output levels.

U.S. crude oil production, driven by shale extraction, has rebounded by almost 20% since the most recent low in mid-2016 to 10.2 million barrels per day, above that of top exporter Saudi Arabia and within reach of Russia's output levels.

That added to fears that rising U.S. output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

The producer group, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures slipped 0.3% to $1.669 a gallon, while heating oil lost 0.3% to $1.830 a gallon.

Natural gas futures ticked down less than a cent to $2.586 per million British thermal units.

Oil Edges Lower on Bets for Sizable Increase in U.S. Crude Supplies
 

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