Price Of Crude Oil Dips On Supply Glut Concerns

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Crude oil prices moved lower in early Thursday trading, continuing a downturn sparked by demand-driven factors in the USA energy market.

Gasoline inventories rose 1.54 million barrels last week, surprising analysts surveyed by Bloomberg who projected the Energy Information Administration data would show a 2-million-barrel decline.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose one cent to $52.66 a barrel, with their intraday low as $52.14, also the weakest since April 7. "The U.S. has increased production by about 600,000 barrels a day since the OPEC agreement, mitigating their cuts".

OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first six months of 2017, while 11 other non-OPEC countries including Russian Federation agreed to limit supply.

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Crude production advanced 17,000 barrels a day to 9.25 million in the week ended April 14, the highest since August 2015.

"We are optimistic that the policy measures we have taken already place us on the path of recovery", OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said at an energy forum in Abu Dhabi. In the past nine weeks, the growth has reached 30,000 barrels per day.

Oil edged higher on April 19 as OPEC said it was committed to eroding a global surplus of crude, but increasing shale production in the US and still-high global stocks threatened to pull prices lower.

A surprise build in USA gasoline stocks last week triggered a sharp sell-off across the oil complex Wednesday, even though weekly United States inventory data also showed draws in both crude and distillate inventories.

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The global crude glut has persisted even as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producing countries have worked to reduce output nearly 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017."Rising U.S. production levels are offsetting more than a third of the six-month agreement of the 1.8 million barrel-per-day cut", McGillian said. "That doesn't really signal a market that's too concerned about geopolitical hotspots". Iran is showing "good cooperation with OPEC" under the deal, he said.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 56 cents at $55.33 at 0618 GMT (2:18 a.m. ET).

"Five of the last trading days we've been lower", he said.

While the historic agreement between producers that went into effect on January 1 "induced a euphoric and unsustainable surge" in bullish bets by investors, that also set the stage for an inevitable sell-off as record fourth-quarter Opec output and oil stored at sea moved to onshore sites, according to Citigroup.

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