API Estimates Show Surprise Draw In US Crude Oil

API Estimates Show Surprise Draw In US Crude Oil”

Crude oil prices were flat Wednesday morning, holding recent gains after industry data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude oil inventories.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, with the Brent benchmark hovering near a 26-month high hit in the previous session, after USA oil inventories unexpectedly declined as refiners raised output and amid threats from Turkey to cut crude exports from Iraq.

Oil supplies at the hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 1.1 million barrels. Analysts had forecast an increase of 3.4 million barrels.

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

Wholesale U.S. gasoline prices were down 2.7% at $1.6538 per gallon.

However, Brent is set for a 22 percent gain in the third quarter of this year, its largest rise in the period between July and September since 2004, thanks in part to coordinated output cuts.

Crude oil production in Texas, one of the biggest producers of shale oil in the USA, in July fell less than 1% compared with a year ago, the state's energy regulator said on Tuesday.

US production rose to 9.55 million barrels a day in the most recent week, though those weekly production figures are subject to large revisions.

Refinery crude runs rose by 1.3 million barrels per day, API data showed.

"Seeing exports of US produced crude that large would pose a threat to the level that the Brent-WTI premium can go", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline inventories however rose by 1.5 million barrels compared to a 962,000 barrels decline seen and distillates declined by 4.5 million barrels, compared with a 2.474 million barrels drop expected.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday repeated a threat to cut off the pipeline that carries 500,000-600,000 barrels per day of crude from northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in retaliation for an independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 rival producers, including Russian Federation, have committed to output cuts of 1.8 million bpd between January 2017 and March 2018 to help global supply align with demand.

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