OIL PRICE: NOT ABOVE $55
REUTERS , BLOOMBERG , OILPRICE - Oil prices rose on Wednesday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the global oil surplus was starting to shrink due to robust global demand and an output drop from OPEC and other producers.
By 1021 GMT, international benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $54.54 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 was up 38 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $48.61 a barrel.
"Based on recent bets made by investors, expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly," the IEA, which coordinates energy policies in industrialized nations, said in its monthly report.
"Demand growth continues to be stronger than expected, particularly in Europe and the U.S.," the IEA said, raising its 2017 global oil demand growth estimate to 1.6 million barrels per day from 1.5 million bpd.
The assessment echoed a report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecasting higher demand for its oil in 2018 and pointing to signs of a tighter global market.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also revised its 2017 and 2018 U.S. oil output forecast figures lower to reflect, in part, effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Commerzbank said in a note that the OPEC and EIA reports "came as a positive surprise and should really support prices."
"However, this also means that OPEC must not increase its production if the balance on the oil market is to be ensured. And yet this is hardly likely to happen," it said, saying OPEC states Libya and Nigeria had not agreed to production cuts.
Some worries about rising U.S. crude inventories persisted.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 6.2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 8 to 468.8 million, nearly double analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels.
Analysts say U.S. stocks data may not give a full picture in coming weeks because of two major hurricanes - Harvey and Irma.
EIA inventory data is due out later on Wednesday.
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U.S. EIA - Energy companies’ free cash flow—the difference between cash from operations and capital expenditure—was $119 billion for the four quarters ending June 30, 2018, the largest four-quarter sum during 2013–18 Companies reduced debt for seven consecutive quarters, contributing to the lowest long-term debt-to-equity ratio since third-quarter 2014
OPEC - Total oil demand for 2018 is now estimated at 98.82 mb/d. In 2019, world oil demand growth is forecast to rise by 1.41 mb/d. Total world oil demand in 2019 is now projected to surpass 100 mb/d for the first time and reach 100.23 mb/d.
ARAB NEWS - Oil exports from southern Iraq are heading for a record high this month, two industry sources said, adding to signs that OPEC’s second-largest producer is following through on a deal to raise supply and local unrest is not affecting shipments.
PLATTS - The International Energy Agency expects the US to account for 75% of the global growth in natural gas exports over the next five years, a bullish outlook for LNG developers facing challenges at home getting projects off the ground and abroad with tariffs affecting trade flows.