Fuel withdrawals offset small crude oil inventories build

USA industry data on Tuesday was said to show crude inventories climbed last week, and a government report Wednesday is also forecast to show stockpiles expanded.

Gasoline stocks fell 3.7 MMbbl, compared with expectations for a 1.9-MMbbl drop, while distillate stockpiles, which includes diesel and heating oil, were down 2.5 MMbbl, vs. analyst expectations for a 1.2 MMbbl decline, the EIA said.

The price of global benchmark Brent crude lifted 0.88 per cent this morning to $51.78 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate was trading 0.91 per cent higher at $48.81 a barrel.

Traders said record US crude inventories were behind the price dips.

"The WTI crude bulls are emboldened by the double whammy of another large increase in refinery utilization rates and a big jump in crude oil export levels", said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, a commodities-focused broker in Washington.

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Libya's output was said to fall to about 500,000 barrels a day after a pipeline carrying crude from the Sharara field - its biggest - stopped operating.

Brent crude oil settled up 54 cents, or about 1 percent, to $52.96 a barrel after hitting $53.10.

USA crude oil was 10 cents lower at.41.

Oil prices rose Wednesday to finish at their highest level in roughly three weeks. May WTI was changing hands around $49.47, 4 cents lower.

OPEC, along with other producers including Russian Federation, aims to cut output by nearly 1.8 million bpd during the first half of the year.

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However seems lower by non-OPEC members like Russian Federation, who have officially agreed to participate in cutting.

Investors are waiting to see if OPEC decides to extend its production curbs into the second half of the year and whether adherence to the deal remains so high.

Russia has already cut oil production under a deal with OPEC by 200,000 barrels a day, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told CNBC on Thursday, according to TASS.

Russian Federation has promised to cut output by 300,000 bpd.

Singapore received 11,000 bpd of the United States crude oil; Peru, 7,000 bpd; France, 7,000 and Spain bought 4,000 bpd, the EIA data indicated.

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