Crude Oil Eases From 4-year High

Crude Oil Eases From 4-year High

Crude Oil Eases From 4-year High

Allaying fears of a steep rise in oil prices, OPEC countries have made a decision to step up production of crude oil. Brent crude futures were up 24 cents, at $79.81/Bbl by 2:29 p.m. ET, rebounding from a brief slide after the EIA data.

United States crude and distillate stockpiles fell last week, while petrol inventories increased unexpectedly, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

Earlier this month oil prices skyrocketed, surpassing US$80 a barrel for the first time since 2014, after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

In the meantime, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia could potentially ease their own oil production caps in an effort to keep prices under control.

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The prospects of renewed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an global nuclear deal with Tehran have also boosted prices in recent weeks. Brent crude recently touched $80 a barrel, though it was lower on Wednesday.

"The spectre of US oil sanctions on the embattled Latin American producer now looms large as Washington strives to tighten the financial noose", PVM Oil Associates strategist Stephen Brennock said in a note.

USA crude futures settled 96 cents, or 1.4 percent, firmer at $72.24 a barrel, after touching $72.33, the highest since November 2014.

"We've seen a lot of consumer interest", said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodities markets strategy at BNP Paribas.

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Week over week, US crude oil exports fell by 818,000 barrels a day, and USA production rose by 2,000 barrels a day to 10.73 million. In post-settlement trade, the benchmark hit a fresh 3-1/2 year high at 72.59.

Then late Tuesday the oil-producing cartel known as OPEC suggested it may soon turn on the spigots a little, after curbing its supply for the better part of the past year to boost prices.

Representatives of OPEC and other major oil producers convened May 22 before the group's main meeting next month to review the impact of production cuts. Prices were further propped up by a significant oil production decrease in Venezuela - it saw April oil production in the Latin America country drop to 1.5 million barrels per day, a new long-term low, according to Reuters.

Gasoline futures were down 1.8% at $2.230 USA per gallon following the data release.

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Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.

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