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Crude Oil Prices Rally On Market Optimis

29 September 2017

USA crude production for the week rose to 9.55 million bpd, up from 9.51 million bpd the previous week and higher than levels before Harvey hit the Gulf Coast.

With Brent futures commanding their highest premium over USA crude in more than two years, US crude has become increasingly competitive in foreign markets and exports hit a record 1.5 million bpd last week.

He also said oil in floating storage was falling and cited a shift of benchmark Brent prices into backwardation, a market condition in which it is more attractive to sell oil immediately rather than storing it for later sale, indicating tighter supplies.

Turkey can choose to "close the valves" on oil exports from Kurdistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as the Iraqi region holds an independence referendum.

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Brent for November settlement was little changed at $57.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after losing 54c on Wednesday.

OPEC-led supply cuts are due to run to the end of March, but OPEC and industry sources familiar with the matter said they expected cuts to be extended beyond that deadline. A market surplus past year pushed crude oil prices to historic lows, slowed capital streams toward exploration and production and hurt the financial well-being of producers and producing states alike. Less than half of output lost to the OPEC, non-OPEC supply deal will return in 2018, with the cutbacks offset by greater volumes from new fields and softening decline rates from legacy producers, Fitch Ratings' BMI Research said in a note on Wednesday. U.S. oil inventories are back within the five-year range and are at their lowest since January 2016.

Oil prices collapsed starting in mid-2014 as a result of a production glut and weak demand.

The recovery in U.S. refinery demand after Hurricane Harvey also supported crude oil prices.

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On supply, whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies extend their combined 1.8 million bpd output cuts beyond the March 2018 expiry is a key uncertainty.

Despite strong fuel demand and soaring Brent prices, US crude futures have risen much less, widening their discount against Brent to its widest since August 2015.

Prices rose due to a fall in United States crude oil inventories from September 15-22, 2017. A stronger can weigh on dollar-denominated commodity prices such as oil.

The price of oil has fallen back on Tuesday after earlier hitting a two-year high. The total draw for crude oil in 2017 now stands at just shy of 23 million barrels. "Oil supplies remain plentiful because domestic producers are becoming increasingly efficient at producing crude oil at lower costs, so a $45 per barrel oil market provides more incentive than in the past".

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that production from wells in shale formations will rise for a 10th month in a row in October.

Crude Oil Prices Rally On Market Optimis