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Oil prices continue to decline
01 December 2017, 06:37 | Frank Carlson
Oil prices continue to decline
USA crude oil stocks fell last week, led by the biggest fall in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub in eight years, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Gasoline futures ended near the day's lows following a bigger-than-expected rise in US supplies of the fuel.
Oil prices were down heading into today's data and heading into this week's meeting, with WTI down $.015 (-0.26 percent) at $57.96 at 2:00pm EST, and Brent crude down $0.19 (-0.30 percent) at $63.19.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil eased 32 cents, or 0.55 per cent to United States dollars 57.67 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude was down 43 cents, or 0.68 per cent to USD 63.18 per barrel.
The market also responded positively to news that Kuwait's oil minister said a key committee recommended the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extend its supply-cut agreement by nine months.
Meanwhile, U.S. production continues to hit records on a weekly basis, rising to 9.68 million barrels per day (MMBPD) for the week ended November 24. That was a bit higher than the forecast for a decline of 3 million barrels from analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. Many analysts see the deal as running throughout next year, but Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are attempting to work out differences over petroleum output ahead of the meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/russia-saudi-arabia-try-to-hammer-out-differences-on-oil-output-curbs-2017-11-29).
Analysts on average forecast a decrease in oil reserves by 3 million barrels, as well as an increase in distillate stocks by only 160,000 barrels. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday had reported an increase of 1.8 million barrels, according to sources.
OPEC members chose to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.3 percentage points.
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