Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

U.S. oil inventories drop despite jump in domestic output, DoE says

U.S. oil inventories drop despite jump in domestic output, DoE says

The prospect of Opec and other producers, including Russian Federation, maintaining crude output cuts in the face of a boom in U.S. shale production helped lift Brent back above US$65 a barrel this week.

A rise in US crude inventories also dented sentiment, even though stocks tend to rise at this time of year as refineries frequently close for maintenance.

Canada's biggest export market for oil, the United States, is set to dramatically ramp up its own oil exports and reshape the global oil trade in the next five years.

Crude oil shipments by rail in Canada are expected to more than double in the next two years, said the International Energy Agency. WTI Crude oil futures are now trading at $62.12 per barrel, down 0.80% on the day.

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"While the market was able to absorb [the IEA's forecast].it was not able to do the same with yesterday evening's predictions", analysts at Commerzbank said in a note.

"However I don't believe that this strength will be long lived with rising USA production and a strengthening dollar". What's more, Papa said, drillers in the shale plays are struggling with shortages of frac sand as they need more and more of it to make wells more productive.

The South Texas port area anchored by Corpus Christi, home to a gaggle of proposed oil, petrochemical and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, "solidifies its position as the primary North American crude-oil outlet" over the five-year forecast, IEA said.

Alongside rising output from the USA, other non-OPEC producers such as Canada, Brazil and Norway would also play their part in catering to rising demand, the think-tank added.

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Output hit a record 10.057 million bpd in November, according to the US Department of Energy.

Shipments from OPEC state Angola are expected to average 1.52 million barrels a day in the January-April 2018 period, the weakest start to a year in terms of outflows since Bloomberg began collating loading monthly programs back in 2008. China remains the main engine of demand growth, but more stringent policies to curb air pollution will slow growth.

Jet fuel, supported by growing demand for air travel, will grow by 1.2 per cent to 2023, the IEA added. Meanwhile, a new marine fuel rule with lower sulfur content that will come into force in 2020 is creating uncertainty in the market. The U.S. will account for 60% of that global increase, Birol concluded.

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