Oil: OPEC Production Climbs As Saudi Arabia Pumps More


U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 settled down 47 cents at $68.49 a barrel.

Initially, the OPEC+ members agreed on a combined cut of 1.8 million bpd but lower production by a number of countries in fact made the cuts deeper, raising fears of global oil shortages and a potential spike in the oil prices as a result. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $73.42 per barrel, down 3 cents from their last close.

Since Russia joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in reducing output, crude prices have risen to three-year highs as the glutted market rebalanced.

The EIA showed that the United States crude inventories rose 3.8 million barrels last week against an expected 2.8 billion barrels decline.

Futures in NY were little changed, following a 3.5-percent slide in the past two sessions.

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That's below the 215,000 average for the first seven months this year, but economists said the slip will likely prove temporary. The government also revised hiring totals for May and June to show that another 59,000 jobs were added in those months.

Oil traders were caught long and wrong by the surprising increase in OPEC production and more significant than expected US Crude inventory builds.

Stocks at the key Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma fell by 1.3 million barrels, the lowest level since October 2014, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Petrol stocks declined 2.5 million barrels, while crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures fell by 1.3 million barrels, EIA data showed.

The net imports averaged 6.44 million barrels per day last week, up by 1.35 million barrels per day from the previous week.

Meanwhile, the latest leg down in the black gold can be attributed to latest Russian Energy Ministry data published last hour that showed that Russian oil output rose by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July from a month earlier.

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President Trump, however, had strong words for his Iranian counterpart last week which seemed to allude to rising tensions. The pact had lifted sanctions against the nation in exchange for restrictions on Iran's nuclear program.

Smith noted while it's highly unlikely India will absorb China's share of USA crude, "we could see other East Asian destinations, such as Taiwan and South Korea, also picking up some of the slack".

China's Unipec has also suspended purchases of USA crude amid the growing trade row, sources said.

US crude oil imports averaged 7.75 million barrels per day last week, maintaining the levels of the previous week.

Trump has turned up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports and China has said it will retaliate.

A survey showed that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC's) crude output increased last month as Saudi Arabia pumped near-record volumes to make good on a pledge to consumers that demand would be met.

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The fine was the result of a new law banning all face-covering clothing that went into effect on August 1. Supporters of the law, meanwhile, claim the law will better integrate Muslims into Danish society.

Oil prices were down on Friday as the market re-focused on bearish longer term factors following a bounce in the previous session as US crude inventories in a key hub fell to their lowest in almost four years.