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Oil up on OPEC compliance, US stocks

LONDON, February 1, 2018 – Crude oil prices continued to rise on Thursday, helped by news of a sharp decline in U.S. stocks of gasoline and distillate supplies and that OPEC members are complying to their deal to limit output.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude March contract was up 66 cents or about 1.05% at $65.41 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT).

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London gained 66 cents or about 0.96% at $69.55 a barrel.

Oil prices were boosted after a report on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration showed strong U.S. demand for gasoline and distillates along with weekly declines in domestic supplies of the petroleum products.

 

However, the EIA also said that U.S. crude supplies rose 6.8 million barrels last week, which marked the first increase in 11 weeks.

The report added that U.S. crude oil production edged up by 41,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.919 million bpd, the highest level since the early 1970s and close to the output of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Analysts and traders have recently warned that U.S. shale oil producers could ramp up production as they look to take advantage of higher prices, potentially derailing OPEC’s effort to curb excess supply.

Oil prices were also supported after a Reuters survey showed that adherence by producers included in the OPEC deal to curb supply rose to 138% from 137% in December.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures climbed 0.56% to $1.905 a gallon, while natural gas futures lost 2.60% to $2.917 per million British thermal units.

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