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Oil falls 1 percent amid growing U.S. crude output concerns

by January 19, 2018 General

By Bryan Sims

(Reuters) – 1 percent on Friday and were on track for the biggest weekly falls since October despite hitting three-year highs earlier this week as concerns over growing U. S. production outweighed tightening global supplies.

Brent crude futures were trading 68 cents lower at $68.63 a barrel at 1:26 p.m. EST (1826 GMT). On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37.

U. S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $63.65 a barrel, down 65 cents. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday.

Both benchmarks were on track for a weekly loss of nearly 2 percent.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its monthly report, said that global have tightened substantially, aided by OPEC cuts, demand growth and Venezuelan production hitting near 30-year lows.

But it warned that rapidly increasing production in the could threaten market balancing.

“Explosive growth in the U.

S. and substantial gains in and will far outweigh potentially steep declines in and Mexico,” the IEA said of 2018 production.

The forecast U. S. supply growth will push its output past 10 million barrels per day (bpd), overtaking and rivalling

U. S. rose nearly 300,000 bpd to 9.75 million bpd last week, according to government data.

“Prices are encouraging drilling and I think there is a race to cash in here at these elevated prices,” said John Kilduff, partner at

However, the U. S. oil rig count, an indicator of future production, fell by five this week but at 747, was still much higher than the 551 rigs a year ago, according to General Electric Co’s firm. [RIG/U]

will need to go higher for rig counts to go higher from here,” said Chris Jarvis, in Frederick,

Overall, however, remain well supported, and most analysts do not expect steep declines.

The main has been a production cut by major producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and since January last year.

The supply cuts, scheduled to last throughout 2018, were aimed at tightening the market to prop up prices.

Even in the United States, not part of the pact to curb output, crude inventories fell 6.9 million barrels last week to 412.65 million barrels, the lowest seasonal level in three years and below the five-year average marker around 420 million barrels.

“U. S. production growth remains a relative counterweight for OPEC/non-OPEC to continue to balance this market,” Again Capital’s Kilduff said.

(Additional reporting by in London, Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Jane Chung in SEOUL; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)