Oil down on US production concerns

LONDON, December 21, 2017 – Crude oil prices turned lower on Thursday, as concerns over rising U.S. production continued to weigh, despite the previous session’s upbeat U.S. inventory data.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was down 39 cents or about 0.69% at $57.69 a barrel by 09:50 a.m. ET (13:50 GMT).

Elsewhere, Brent oil for February delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was down 24 cents or about 0.37% at $64.31 a barrel.

Prices initially rose after the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday that crude oil inventories fell by 6.5 million barrels last week. Market analysts’ expected a crude-stock draw of around 3.8 million barrels.

 

The commodity has also been supported since the North Sea after the Forties pipeline was unexpectedly shut down last week. The pipeline’s operator said it was expected to restart in early January.

But gains were capped by ongoing fears rising U.S. output could dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

The producer group, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed last week to extend current oil output cuts for a further nine months 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.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures were down 0.36% at $1.731 a gallon, while natural gas futures declined 0.68% to $2.619 per million British thermal units.

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