Markets

Inventories drop, but extra supplies weigh (RDSA)

Inventories drop, but extra supplies weigh (RDSA)

Crude oil gains are expected to be limited, however, because of an unexpected build in gasoline inventories.

Reuters reported that OPEC and its non-OPEC partners were considering an extension to the current deal, which comprises an output cut of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), for nine months or more.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-Opec member countries will meet in Vienna on May 25 to discuss whether to continue output cuts of 1.8 million bpd in an effort to reduce a global crude glut and support prices.

Saudi Aramco, which is a state-owned, is going to low oil supplies to Asian customers in June by 7 million barrels.

Crude oil prices gained on Thursday as investors were buoyed by falling inventories in the United States and higher-than-expected supply cuts to Asia by Saudi Arabia.

But after Brent prices fell back below $50 a barrel last week, analysts said producers felt forced to act.

Brent was 60 cents higher at $50.82 a barrel by 1255 GMT after hitting an early high of $51.09.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $46.87 per barrel, up 65 cents, or 1.4 percent from the last close.




The amount is said to be equal two days' oil imports to Japan, Asia's second biggest economy, and marks another break from Saudi Arabia's usual policy of maintaining customers by keeping supplies steady.

On Thursday, non-members Turkmenistan and Equatorial Guinea said they would join the cuts, though they are smaller producers.

Investors are now waiting to see if those numbers are confirmed on Wednesday by official figures on weekly USA crude and oil product inventories from the US government's Department of Energy, due out at 1430 GMT.

It raised its estimate of total oil supply growth from non-Opec producers this year to 950 000 bpd from a previous forecast of 580 000 bpd.

Kuwait's oil minister said today he believes that oil producers will extend their production cuts for another six months at their meeting later this month.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the low oil prices were also due to a slowdown in demand."Oil demand growth this year is underwhelming, in part explaining why crude oil prices and refining margins have sold off sharply recently", it said.

"Also, we should start to see Dakota Access pipeline and other infrastructure improvements liberate more and more USA barrels".


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