Crude oil futures lower in anticipation of USA stock build

Reuters: Oil hits nearly three-week high as Saudi Arabia to keep output well below cap

Larger Rise in Stockpiles Than Forecasts Weigh on Oil Prices

El Feel produces 70,000 barrels per day of crude. This is higher than Russia's current production of just below 11 million bpd, as Moscow is cutting 300,000-bpd production as part of the OPEC-and-friends deal.

"The comments from the IEA head about the pace of U.S. shale growth might have taken the wind out of the bull's sails", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund. "This market has benefited from a series of them over the past several months now, whether it's the Keystone, the North Sea (Forties), and now this".

Brent crude was down 40 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $66.23 a barrel. The global benchmark's session high of $67.37 was its highest since February 7. USA natural gas production for the next two weeks is forecast to be well above the February's average, leading to additional downward pressures on gas prices, overshadowing the outlook for colder weather.

The dollar rose 0.1 percent to against the Japanese yen to 107.43 yen.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday that the country's crude production in January to March would be well below output caps, with exports averaging less than 7 million barrels per day, according to Reuters.

"Global oil fundamentals have been improving ever since OPEC and its allies agreed for production cuts, and the demand story is still supporting prices".

U.S. energy companies last week added one oil rig, the fifth weekly increase in a row, bringing the total count up to 799, the highest since April 2015, Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC: Russia vs Saudi vs US oil production ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. "If (as expected) US shale production continues to increase during 2018, then exports will flow", Sandy Fielden, director of oil and products research at Morningstar, wrote in a research note.

The entire energy complex was led lower by gasoline futures after a surprise build in USA gasoline stocks, which rose by 2.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 190,000-barrel drawdown. The US Henry Hub front month futures price remained close to the lowest level reached since August 2016. "S. dollar", said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

The gap between WTI and Brent crude oils has narrowed for several reasons.

The US will overtake Russian Federation as the world´s biggest oil producer by 2019 at the latest, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday.

Yet, thanks to the shale resurgence, here we are-over the past few weeks, American crude oil production outstripped that of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader and biggest exporter.

The group raised their combined futures and options position in NY and London by 478 contracts to 478,160 in the week to February 20, the CFTC said.

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