Oil Prices Edge Higher From OPEC Boost


"Total inventories of crude and products moved to a deficit versus year-ago levels for the first time since August 2014, despite a build in gasoline stocks following refinery runs rising by 241,000 [barrels per day]", said Troy Vincent, oil analyst at ClipperData.

USA petrol stocks posted a counter-seasonal build of 1.5-million barrels, because of rising refining activity.

Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday after steep losses the previous day, as Kuwait said it expected an OPEC-led effort to cut supplies would be extended beyond the middle of the year.

Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo on Wednesday said that all oil producers taking part in a supply-cut pact are committed to bringing global inventories down to the industry's five year average and restoring stability to the market.

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But U.S. stockpiles-and shale production-have cast doubt on whether the production cuts were enough.

"They drop production, we add production, and so at end of the day it's ugly", said Robert Yawger, energy futures strategist at Mizuho Americas.

Brent crude futures were at $53.08 per barrel at 0430 GMT, up 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

OPEC and top nonmember producers reportedly will meet May 25 as they remain publicly undecided over whether to extend production cuts.

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At a time when OPEC and other producing nations have been trying to cut output, government drilling data showed USA shale production next month was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels per day (bpd).

After strong gains overnight, the price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was down 0.1 percent to $52.88 per barrel.

It would be premature to talk about the participation of OPEC members Iran, Nigeria and Libya in any extension of output limits, Barkindo and United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said at the conference. According to a report on monthly drilling productivity report by the Energy Information Administration, the output of crude from shale plays will increase to a level of 5.2 million barrels per day next month.

USA inventories now sit at 532.3 million barrels, only down about 3 million units from the record reached in March. Iran, Nigeria and Libya received special concessions.

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