Oil in bull market nears $52 on signs USA stockpiles declined

Oil in bull market nears $52 on signs USA stockpiles declined”

Oil traded near $52 a barrel after entering a bull market as USA industry data showed an unexpected decline in crude stockpiles, the first decrease since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast last month and shuttered refineries.

Futures were little changed in NY.

Traders and analysts said a report from pricing agency Platts that a force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude, scheduled to be 161,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month, could be lifted "very soon" was behind the loss in Brent.

Forecasts for rising demand, the return of U.S. Gulf Coast refiners following Harvey and Turkey's threat to halt Kurdistan crude shipments pushed oil into a bull market this week.

Oil prices have been supported by output curbs of 1.8 million barrels per day by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and cuts by other major producers, although US crude has lagged behind Brent amid concerns that USA production growth could stoke oversupply. Russian Federation signaled it would be willing to prolong the curbs further, while making clear its commitment wasn't open-ended.

"The API numbers did surprise, and I would be even more surprised to see them being repeated" in government data, said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S.

Brent (BNO) and United States crude oil (SCO) (DBO) prices rose from 2005 to 2008, when OPEC's spare crude oil production capacity levels were low.

Brent crude for November delivery was up 20 cents, or 0.34 percent, at $58.64 a barrel, as of 0418 GMT.

Brent November crude futures were down 14 cents at $58.30 a barrel at 0832GMT, while United States crude for November delivery edged up 11 cents to $51.99.

Higher crude oil prices have a positive impact on oil producers (IEZ) (VDE) like Saudi Aramco, Apache (APA), Noble Energy (NBL), W&T Offshore (WTI), and Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO).

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release stocks data later in the day.

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