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Oil dips as United States production fast approaches 10 million bpd

Oil dips as United States production fast approaches 10 million bpd

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery increased 0.27 US dollar to settle at 58.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery added 0.34 dollar to close at 64.90 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Oil traders this week also eyed with interest the passing of a USA tax bill, which is seen weighing on crude prices in the longer term.

During the Asian trading session the crude oil price fluctuated against the drop of stocks in the United States.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude stockpiles fell by 6.5 million barrels in the week ended December 15, exceeding both analyst expectations and estimates from the American Petroleum Institute released Tuesday.

Analysts said the decline was largely due to refiners ramping up operations last week, taking crude out of storage and churning it into oil products.

Refineries processed 17.1 million barrels of crude per day last week and produced 10.1 million barrels per day of gasoline, unchanged from the week before.

Crude fizzled as repairs to one of the most important pipelines in the world signaled an end to supply disruptions in the North Sea.

"Main feature in today's trade thus far appears to be the ability of the complex to absorb in orderly fashion reports that the North Sea Forties pipeline system will be restarted", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a report.

Yet, gasoline stockpiles rose for a sixth week and diesel supplies unexpectedly edged higher. Meanwhile, Kuwait's Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi said compliance with the output cuts reached 122 percent in November, the highest monthly level since the agreement took effect in January.

Oil is on track for a yearly rise following a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to extend supply cutbacks through the end of 2018. Brent, the global benchmark, gained 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $64.14 a barrel.

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