Crude oil settled at above $62. Resistance at $62.58

Brent price hits three-year highs

Prices had closed at a fresh three-year high Thursday, on the back of declining US crude stockpiles and perceived geopolitical risk to supply because of antigovernment protests in Iran.

Crude oil prices ended 2017 at $60 a barrel, the highest end-of-year price since 2013, EIA said.

The higher pricing is nearly entirely due to the withdrawal of about 1.8 million barrels a day in global crude oil supplies resulting from the OPEC-initiated production cuts.

India, which imports 82 per cent of its crude requirements, takes a hit whenever crude prices push import bill higher. Oil output rose to 9.78 million barrels a day, increasing for the 10th time in 11 weeks.

Newly released data from the United States Energy Information Administration shows oil production in New Mexico booming, propelling the state to the position of third-largest oil producer in the United States in September and October.

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"Strong oil and gas production equals a strong New Mexico, providing more critical funding for our schools and state budget, and creating more jobs to grow our economy", said Ryan Flynn, executive director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

Analysts at TAC Energy said oil's move lower "looks like a natural correction of the ongoing bull market".

Brent crude futures for March delivery fell 41 cents to $67.66 a barrel, a 0.6 percent loss.

Traders had been buying crude amid supply outages and renewed production cuts led by Opec, the producers' cartel, and Russian Federation.

That makes it worth monitoring how the higher excise taxes will impact on volume sales within this year, and if it will really result in the prophetic goal of the DOE of resolving Metro Manila's traffic mess if pump prices will be higher.

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Yet, surging US production could offset some of the cuts from OPEC producers, as USA production rose to 9.78 million barrels a day in the latest week, according to Wednesday's report.

Meanwhile, the USA has largely managed to ride out the sharp fall in the price of oil over the past three years after Opec, led by Saudi Arabia, launched a price war in 2015. A boost in exports from Iraq's south, the outlet for most of its crude, to a record 3.55 million bpd in December, offset relatively low shipments from the north, the survey found.

For one, they noted that they had to apprise DOE officials of the presence of "dead stock" in inventories or products that can no longer be made available for sale - which is a standard experience in oil markets globally.

"This justifies a certain risk premium on the oil price, though this should already be more than sufficiently reflected in the current price level", the Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note Wednesday.

"At current crude oil prices it is only a matter of time before the 10 million barrel/day production target will be reached", Hansen noted, adding that the drop in US inventories-by more than 100 million barrels from the March 2017 record peak-has also supported oil prices.

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