Oil prices test multi-month highs

LONDON, September 14, 2017 – Crude oil prices were hovering at multi-month highs on Thursday, as news of a decline in global oil production continued to support the commodity.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude October contract was at $49.92 a barrel by 09:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT), up 62 cents or about 1.24% and at its highest level since August 10.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London gained 45 cents or 0.82% to a five-month high of $55.60 a barrel.

Prices were boosted after the International Energy Agency on Wednesday said global oil supplies fell for the first time in four months in August, while also revising its 2017 oil demand estimate up to 1.6 million barrels a day from its July estimate of 1.5 million.

 

The data came a day after the latest OPEC report showed that oil production from the cartel fell last month for the first time since March.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday that output declined by 79,000 barrels a day to 32.76 million in August, driven mainly by a drop in Libya, Gabon, Venezuela and Iraq.

On a less positive note, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories rose by 3.2 million barrels, above analysts’ expectations, last week.

However, gasoline stockpiles fell by 8.4 million barrels, marking the largest weekly drop on record in EIA data going back to 1990.

The build in crude inventories came after Hurricane Harvey shut production in some Gulf of Mexico fields and refineries in Texas as some domestic producers also trimmed output to avoid a larger glut at storage.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures declined 0.36% to $1.639 a gallon, while natural gas futures slipped 0.13% to $3.054 per million British thermal units.

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