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Oil Trades Near $57 as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Seen Extending Drop


December 19, 2017 by Grant Smith

(Bloomberg) 

Oil traded near $57 a barrel for a third day before data expected to show that surplus crude inventories in the U.S. continued to diminish as global markets rebalance.

Futures rose 0.7 percent in New York after slipping 0.2 percent on Monday. Inventories probably lost 3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data Wednesday. Nigerian oil workers suspended strike action and agreed to continue talks next month, while output from a Libyan field returned to normal after a power outage.

Oil has rallied the past three months as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies reduce supply to drain a global glut. The unprecedented cooperation among producers, which has now been extended until the end of 2018, has crude prices on their way to a second annual advance.

“As long as the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia holds to curb production, oil prices will stay in the region of $60,” Paolo Scaroni, vice-chairman of NM Rothschild & Sons and former chief executive officer of Eni SpA, said in a Bloomberg television interview on Tuesday. “Oil prices are also OK for the shale-oil producers, which need a price of around $60 if they want to make some money. In total, the situation is stable.”

West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, which expires Tuesday, added 37 cents to $57.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 52 percent below the 100-day average. The more-active February futures rose 34 cents to $57.56 at 12:58 p.m. in London.

Brent for February settlement rose 30 cents to $63.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after rising 0.3 percent on Monday. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $6.13 to February WTI.

U.S. crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the nation’s biggest oil-storage hub, probably fell by 2.2 million barrels last week, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg. That would be a sixth weekly drop, the longest run since July, according to EIA data.

Oil-market news:

Custom parts to repair the Forties Pipeline System “have now been fabricated and are being delivered to the site over the coming days,” operator Ineos said in a statement. Shale output at major U.S. fields is projected to reach 6.41 million barrels a day next month, according to the EIA’s monthly Drilling Productivity Report. The EIA boosted its December estimate to 6.31 million a day.



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