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article imageCrude oil prices dip in anticipation of inventory data release

By Karen Graham     Feb 27, 2018 in Business
Crude oil prices dipped on Tuesday before weekly data that is forecast to show rising U.S. crude inventories, although investor confidence in OPEC's ability to curb output helped stem the price slide.
Reuters is reporting Brent crude futures eased 6 cents to $67.44 a barrel by 1519 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 12 cents to $63.79.
All eyes are now focused on the release of weekly US inventory data by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Based on an S&P Global Platts preview of the EIA oil stocks data, U.S. oil stocks are expected to have risen by 2.7 million barrels last week.
Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said that an increase of 2 million barrels is still just a conservative estimate, though. U.S. inventories have fallen nearly a quarter over the last 12 months, or about 100 million barrels - the lowest in three years. And generally, seasonal stocks are replaced during the first three months of the year.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery slipped 79 cents to $63.12 a barrel at 10:47 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Bloomberg Markets reports.
The U.S. versus the world
While the rest of the globe's oil producers are working to trim output, bringing supply and demand into balance, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said Tuesday in Abu Dhabi that strong U.S. shale growth continues to be a risk factor.
And U.S. oil production continues to soar and this is upending oil markets around the world. According to the EIA, the U.S. will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2019. "U.S. shale growth is very strong, the pace is very strong ... The United States will become the No.1 oil producer sometime very soon," International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday.
In addition to its weekly statistics, the EIA will also publish a monthly report on crude supply, which may show substantial upward revisions in crude output. "It is likely that the ... monthly data will show U.S. crude oil production in December about 200,000-300,000 bpd above what was estimated in the weekly reports," Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob said in a note.
OIl prices as of 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time on Fedruary 27  2017.
OIl prices as of 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time on Fedruary 27, 2017.
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