Oil up, but Opec sees rapid growth in rival supply

Oil prices stable after two-day decline but rising U.S. output drags

US crude-oil production this year is expected to grow by 520,000 barrels a day from December 2017 to December 2018, while the average year-on-year growth is expected to reach 1.04 million barrels a day, mostly coming from shale, the report said.

Chinese oil production fell 1.9 percent in January and February to a daily rate of around 3.77 million barrels per day, while the amount of crude processed by refineries rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million bpd, implying that its import demand will remain strong.

The result, says Marshall, has been a decline in global crude inventories, which has contributed to higher oil prices. Output has been helped by the 25% rise in oil prices over the past year, along with improvements in efficiency and technology.

Brent crude oil futures were last up 2 cents at $64.66 a barrel by 2:10pm GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate futures were up 11 cents at $60.82 a barrel.

"The risk is now much higher that President Trump will not waive the sanctions when it is time to do so in May, thus derailing the deal", said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB AB.

"The total US crude, gasoline and distillate stocks have increased in eight of the past 10 weeks, raising 24 million bl in total since the start of the year".

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report that USA crude stockpiles rose 1.16 million barrels in the week through March 9.

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Despite this, oil markets remain relatively weak.

Gasoline stocks fell by 6.3 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a poll for a 1.2 million-barrel drop.

Estimates by the EIA show global supplies will exceed 100 million bpd for the first time in the second quarter of 2018, while demand will only break through that level in the third quarter, implying a slightly oversupplied market.

Brent crude futures were at US$64.74 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.15%. The IEA will release its monthly oil report Thursday.

"The current healthy momentum in the global economy, together with the efforts undertaken by the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries.is supporting the rebalancing of the oil market fundamentals", the report said.

The oil price is still showing a 1% loss so far this week as concern grows about the ability of Opec and its partners to counter rapid growth in United States crude production, which is tipped to hit a record 11 million bpd before the end of the year.

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