Saudi Arabia Says It Will Not Cut Exports To Key Market Japan

OPEC is hoping its cuts will prop up prices but U.S. shale production continues to rebound

OPEC is hoping its cuts will prop up prices but U.S. shale production continues to rebound

WTI light sweet crude oil was down 45 cents at $52.75 a barrel. Oil prices continued their volatility over the last couple of weeks despite production cuts of nearly 1.5 million barrels from OPEC and non-OPEC members.

The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports its own data at 1530 GMT and traders will look to see whether the official figures confirm the industry's numbers. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 44 cents, or 0.7%, to $55 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Exchange. So, in 2017 the price of oil would be determined by the production in the United States rather than the deal by OPEC and N-OPEC countries.

Crude oil prices fell Thursday as government data confirmed another build in USA oil inventories.

"There is a widely held view that prices should be higher because that is what Saudi Arabia is strongly pushing for through immediate supply cuts, but there is concern as to the speed and scale of the response of US shale oil supply to higher prices", Standard Chartered said in a note.

"EIA estimates that crude oil and other liquids inventories grew by 2.0 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2016, driven by an increase in production and a significant, but seasonal, drop in consumption", the agency said. USA light crude CLc1 was down 40 cents at $52.78.

Brawl in Turkish parliament as prosthetic limb is wrenched off its owner
If the clock on Mr Erdogan's presidency re-sets from 2019, that would allow him to stay in the job until 2029, not 2024. The bill will be put to a referendum, probably in April, and will become law if more than 50% of voters back it.


In the past four weeks - usually already a seasonally slow period for gasoline - demand has totaled 8.3 million barrels per day, 4.7 percent lower than a year ago.

Gasoline inventories increased even more sharply, jumping by 6.8m barrels while those of distillates were virtually unchanged. "With those factors continuing to compete over the short term, prices should continue to trade in the current band".

Compliance of oil producers to their pledges and cuts from OPEC members totaling 1.5 million bpd, jointly with non-cartel cuts of almost 600,000 bpd have already pushed prices above the threshold of $50, strengthening hopes of rebalancing.

USA gasoline futures, or RBOB, hit a low of $1.5156 a gallon before rebounding as crude rose.

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