Oil steady as Trump tweet slows surge upwards

Oil prices fall amid surprise growth in U.S. crude stocks

WTI prices were up Thursday morning on the news that US crude oil inventories were down 2.1 million barrels last week, the fifth straight week of declines.

Brent declined Thursday morning, trading at $78.59, down 33 cents or 0.42 percent.

USA crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.42 million barrels per day during last week, which was 442,000 barrels per day lower than the previous week's average.

According to EIA, U.S. total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 21.38 million barrels per day, up 4.9 percent from the same period past year. The agency forecasts an average of 10.7 million barrels per day for 2018, compared with 9.4 million barrels per day past year, and forecasts an average of 11.5 million barrels per day in 2019.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 839,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 651,000-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.

Oil futures inched up on Friday amid concerns over supply as US sanctions on Iran's crude exports loom, although calls by US President Donald Trump for lower oilprices dragged.

Markets Insider
Markets Insider

The Oklahoman's energy writer, Adam Wilmoth, wrote that even with the EIA's caution, its report "highlights the rapid increase in US production over the past few years and notes that domestic production likely will continue to grow ..." Distillate fuel inventories increased 0.8 million barrels last week, 0.9 percent above the levels of the same week previous year. Distillate product supplied averaged 4 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, unchanged compared with the prior week's average. USA light crude oil was 40 cents higher at $71.52 after rising almost 2 percent on Wednesday.

Rising U.S. gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump before November congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the U.S. economy. A year ago at this time, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $2.615 on average in the United States.

America has risen to the top the list of oil-producing countries for the first time in more than four decades, analysts believe.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar have increased production by a total of 794,000 b/d during May-August, half of which came from Saudi Arabia.

The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEAMERICAN: OIH) traded up about 1.7% to $24.81, in a 52-week range of $22.73 to $29.87.

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