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Opec: Oil deal bearing fruit but rival output rising
22 April 2017, 01:46 | Maryann Sutton
Crude oil futures slid for a second session on Thursday, moving away from a one-month high touched in the last session as rising US inventories stoked worries about global oversupply.
Gross U.S. crude oil imports in 2016 rose to an average of 7.9 million barrels per day (b/d), 514,000 b/d more than the 2015 average.
The report also showed that gasoline inventories decreased by 2.973 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 1.721 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 2.153 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 0.885 million.
The EIA data did, however, show an unexpected drop in overall US crude inventories, 2.2 million barrels over the week as imports declined by 717,000 barrels a day.
Crude oil for May delivery CLK7, -0.08% traded 1 cent higher at $53.12 a barrel, after having traded as low as $52.82 earlier in the day.
OPEC and other oil producers agreed in November to cut output by 1.8M barrels per day during the first half of 2017 in order to stabilise the oil market.
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In the report, OPEC pointed to an increase in its members' compliance with the deal and said oil stocks in industrialized nations fell in February - although they are still 268 million barrels above the five-year average. It sees 2017 output at 9.22 million barrels a day, up a modest 0.1% from the previous forecast.
"If OPEC decides not to continue its current policy, the market would immediately start to price in a new situation of lingering oversupply".
USA crude inventories hit a record 535.5-million barrels in April. Earlier in the day, OPEC released promising reports that showed that production dropped more than initially expected last month.
The world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has stepped up sales of light oil to Asia by offering buyers more cargoes on top of the full contract volumes it will provide for May, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. It also voiced concern that the recovery of prices encourages shale oil companies to return to the competition, which harms OPEC efforts in reducing the supply. United States production, however, continued to increase with a 0.4% gain on the week to 9.24 million bpd.
Market watchers have long maintained that producers need to extend their production cut if they hope to make a dent in the global inventories.
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