OIL PRICES UP TO $49.11
May 25 Oil futures rose on Wednesday after U.S. industry data suggested a larger-than-expected drawdown in crude inventories last week, although a stronger U.S. dollar curbed gains.
Oil prices were also supported by an overnight surge in U.S. equities and strong U.S. home sales that could point to the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates as early as June.
U.S. crude futures had climbed 56 cents to $49.18 a barrel as of 0042 GMT after ending the previous session up 54 cents.
Brent futures rose 50 cents to $49.11 a barrel, having closed 26 cents up previously to snap a four-day slide.
U.S. crude stocks dropped by 5.1 million barrels to 536.8 million last week, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. That was double expectations of analysts polled by Reuters.
Gasoline stocks climbed by 3.6 million barrels, while inventories of distillate fuels, including diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.9 million barrels, the API data showed.
Investors are awaiting confirmation of the big draw when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues official inventory figures on Wednesday.
"U.S. government data are expected to show that oil inventories have retreated from an eight-decade high, putting further upward pressure on prices," ANZ said in a note.
That came as some crude producers restarted operations on Tuesday in Canada's energy heartland, where wildfires have knocked out up to around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of shale production.
Almost all of the oil from the tar sands production is shipped to the United States, said New York-based energy consultant Poten.
Oil prices were buoyed by a rise in U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite all closing up.
Oil prices shrugged off the impact from a strong U.S. dollar which hovered close to a 10-week high against the euro in Asian trade on Wednesday, while the dollar index was also up against a basket of major currencies.
A strong dollar typically makes greenback-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Iraq is pumping about 4.5 million bpd now and is aiming to boost that to 5.5 million to 6 million bpd by 2020, Falah Alamri, head of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) said at an Iraq oil conference on Tuesday.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.