U.S. oil rallies as exporters trim production

February 15, 2019

SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. oil prices rose on Friday, gaining for a fourth day on hopes of further supply cuts by major exporters, despite uncertainty about U.S.-China trade talks.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.79 per barrel at 0038 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement. They rose 51 cents, or 0.95 percent, on Thursday.

International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade, after closing up 1.5 percent in the previous session.

“The crude oil market shrugged off concerns about the trade talks as signs of further reduction from OPEC+ continue to mount,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

The producer group known as OPEC+ has agreed to cut crude output by a joint 1.2 million barrels per day. Top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would cut even more in March than the deal called for.

Russia has cut its oil production by 80,000-90,000 barrels per day from its level in October, Moscow’s reference level for its cuts, the country’s energy minister said.

Still, U.S. government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks last week rose to their highest since November 2017 as refiners cut runs to the lowest since October 2017.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)

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