US Crude Output Rises to 10 Million/BPD

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Arriving at the Port of Ruwais in Abu Dhabi on January 31 as a shipment from Enterprise Products Partners LP that originated in Houston, Texas, the recent oil export appears to be evidence that the USA oil industry under Trump is taking full advantage of volatile tensions between nations in the Middle East ... and elsewhere.

Russia, the nation's top supplier past year, also ramped up imports through its expanded Siberian pipeline last month.

The Energy Information Administration forecasted a production of around 1.6 million barrels per day this year in the United States and is expected to go up by as much as 11.2 million barrels per day next year which is higher than Russia's current production.

Total gasoline inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels last week, according to the EIA, and are now in the middle of the five-year average range.

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John England, who serves as the head of consultancy for Deloitte's US energy and resources practice, marveled at the progress witnessed under the Trump administration, as coal is being displaced at power plants with cleaner, more cost-effective shale natural gas.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was down 31 cents at $63.08/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 9:04 a.m. local time, after dropping 1.2% on Tuesday to the lowest since January 19. The contract fell 76 cents to $63.39 on Tuesday.

"Bullish sentiment that was built on OPEC cuts and geopolitical unrest is slowly fading away as recognition of USA production surpassing 10 million bpd sinks in, which also puts Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation at risk of losing further market share", wrote analysts at Drillinginfo, in commentary after the EIA figures. Last week's big builds were the result of higher production and fewer exports. Russian Federation has maintained its side of the deal with steady production of 10.95 million barrels a day. Prices are heading toward their longest stretch of declines since April.

Oil slid to the lowest in four weeks after US crude stockpiles increased and domestic crude production touched a record-high. The government's monthly data is considered more reliable than the weekly figures, but it lags by a couple of months; the most recent monthly data released showed production rose to 10.038 million bpd in November, just shy of the 1970 record of 10.044 million bpd.

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OPEC and its allies need to start planning an exit from their production agreement with the goal of capturing at least some incremental market demand in 2018 and 2019 while preventing another slump in prices. Refineries were running at 92.5% of capacity, with daily input averaging 16.8 million barrels a day, about 784,000 more than the previous week's average. That was the second time in two months that the system had shut down.

Exxon will close the distillates unit at its 320,000-bpd Antwerp refinery in March for maintenance, traders said.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares were flat in the stock market today. Over the past 12 months, Exxon stock has traded down about 3.5%. Chevron (CVX) rose 0.4%, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) eased 0.5%, and BP (BP) lost 0.2%.

China's crude oil and other liquids production dropped the most among non-OPEC nations in 2016, and the EIA expects production to have booked the second-biggest such drop a year ago.

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The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEAMERICAN: OIH) traded up about 0.1%, at $26.23 in a 52-week range of $21.70 to $33.74.

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