American shale oil set to flood the market

Oil Surplus Returns       Both OPEC and IEA forecasts suggest stockpiles will grow again in 1H                          
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USA crude oil rose to its highest level in more than three years on Tuesday, supported by OPEC-led production cuts and expectations US crude inventories fell for an eighth week.

NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices jumped on Wednesday and settled near three-year highs after USA government data showed a drop in crude inventories and production, even as fuel inventories rose.

Data from the U. Analysts said that could have been the result of extreme cold temperatures across the United States.

WTI light sweet crude oil rose 60 cents to $63.64 a barrel this morning, the highest in more than three years.

Brent crude futures were flat from the previous day at $69.20 a barrel at 1407 GMT. The contract reached a high of $64.08 per barrel earlier in the day, its highest since December 2014. The session high for the global benchmark was $69.37, highest since May 2015.

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Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large draw of 4.992 million barrels of crude oil, along with an increase in gasoline inventories of 1.87 million barrels. A rally that began in June accelerated in December, with crude prices surging about 15 percent over the last month. Analysts warned the market is not paying enough attention to USA production increases.

EIA/STEO estimates the price difference between Brent and WTI reflects the competition of the two crude oils in global export markets. If the prediction is accurate, the USA would become the top oil producer in the world and beat both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation for the first time since 1975.

"When it comes to hedge fund buying in general the commodities trade is front-and-center and that momentum is building for oil", said Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at energy investment manager Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas.

The continued drop in USA crude oil inventories comes as the United States continues to ramp up production, hitting the second highest production level of 2017 in the last week of December of 9.782 million bpd. The best grades of US crude are now priced at almost $63 a barrel, high enough to convince shale oil producers to expand drilling and production.

The and allies including Russian Federation are keeping supply limits in place in 2018, a second year of restraint, to reduce a price-denting glut of oil held in inventories. OPEC and non-OPEC participants agreed on November 30, 2017, to extend the production cuts through the end of 2018 in an effort to reduce global oil inventories.

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