Draw In Crude Inventories Lifts Oil Prices

Gulf Oil Spill Begins To Reach Land As BP Struggles To Contain Leak

WTI light sweet crude oil fell 70 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $50.60/bbl.

However, the EIA also reported a 2.5-million-barrel rise in gasoline inventories for last week, exceeding analyst expectations of a 1.4-million-barrel increase, and in contrast to API estimates of a 1.575-million-barrel draw. Both benchmarks have risen more than 20 percent from their lows in June as world oil markets tightened.

The price action in the crude oil markets on Thursday suggests investors were more concerned about future demand than the weekly inventories picture.

The market was still under pressure, though, from a bearish outlook by the International Energy Agency, which lowered its forecast for oil demand for 2018.

Angola's production, based on direct communication, was 1.657 million barrels per day, a monthly drop of 23,000 barrels, with no data from Nigeria in this case.

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In other news, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday demand for OPEC oil would be 32.5 million barrels per day next year - around 150,000 bpd lower than the cartel pumped last month. This likely means OPEC must deepen its production cuts to finish its job of bringing oil stocks back to the five-year average.

A deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries helped lift oil prices from the $30.00 to $40.00 per barrel range in late 2016 and early 2017. But traders say supplies remain ample and OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018.

US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week, the EIA said.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, rose by roughly 2.5m barrels, confounding expectations of a draw of 480,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by about 1.5m barrels, missing expectations of a decline of 2.2m barrels.

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