Economy

Waning risk premium, more United States production pushes oil prices lower

Waning risk premium, more United States production pushes oil prices lower

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.33 percent to $57.01 per barrel.

"With the OPEC/non-OPEC deal extension beyond March 2018 a certainty, prices may become stronger and temporarily reach the $65-$70 per barrel range in 2018", said energy consultancy FGE.

"While a build to crude stocks may appear bearish, both gasoline and distillate stocks continued to decline despite rising refinery runs", said Vincent. Meanwhile, refinery utilisation rates were also up by 1.5 percentage points, to 89.6%. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day.

At the same time, stored crude supplies at a key USA pipeline hub dropped by more than 1 million barrels, giving further impetus to rising prices.

WTI light sweet crude oil was down 15 cents at USD57.05 a barrel, staying near its highest in two years.

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Inventories were mixed, as crude oil actually climbed while products contracted. And here's the size of this stone: Orbital satellite data suggests that Saudi Arabia's crude oil inventories have risen slightly since early 2016-not dropped. Analysts forecast that stockpiles of gasoline likely fell 1.9 million barrels last week. Hurricane Harvey played a significant role in the reduction of gasoline and distillate inventories which continue to remain depressed.

USA gasoline demand rose by 35,000 bpd to 9,496,000 bpd between October 27, 2017, and November 3, 2017.

The EIA also said crude stocks increased by 2.2 million barrels, shocking the market after analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 2.9 million-barrel draw and industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a decline of 1.6 million barrel. Distillate fuel demand averaged 3.9 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 2.9% from the same period previous year. USA crude production rose to 9.6 million barrels per day during the week of November 3, the most in a week on record according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data going back to 1983.

China's October oil imports fell to just 7.3 million bpd from a near record-high of about 9 million bpd in September, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Chinese October trade data showed that the country's imports of crude had slowed, which helped catalyze some profit taking among near-term tactical market participants, although anti-corruption purge in Saudi Arabia, which has played on broader Mideast tensions, continues to demand an oil price premium.

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