Oil Hits Highest 2019 Level

US crude oil inventories increase last week: API - Xinhua | English.news.cn

As for the USA shale juggernaut, Kevin O'Brien, chief business officer at Orbital Insight, told Bloomberg television that inventories stateside have climbed about 3 percent in the past 30 day, s "and we're thinking there will continue to be a build up in the actual inventory, driven in part by the shale operators".

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 41 cents to $57.37 per barrel, after hitting $57.81 earlier on Friday, also their highest since mid-November. America is the only country to ever reach production of 12 million bpd.

-Oil prices pushed toward fresh three-month highs Friday, helped by a slightly weaker US dollar and global stock-market gains.

Traders said prices were lifted by hopes that Washington and Beijing could resolve their trade disputes, which have dented global economic growth, before a March 1 deadline, during negotiations this week.

The broad outline of a possible US-China trade deal was beginning to emerge from talks between the two countries, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate ended Thursday's session 20 cents lower at $56.96 per barrel, while Brent fell by 13 cents to $66.95, on the strength of Energy Information Administration numbers showing that US crude stocks rose 3.7 million barrels in the week to February 15, to 454.5 million barrels, the highest since October 2017, despite exports surging 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to a record 3.6 million bpd.

Analysts said a global economic slowdown was preventing prices from surging beyond the 2019 highs seen this week.

USA crude stocks were forecast to rise 3.1 million barrels.

Both sides are pushing for an agreement by March 1, the end of a 90-day truce agreed by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping late a year ago.

Shipping data indicates that China was scheduled to receive its first cargoes of crude oil from the U.S.in months around February 17, but it was not immediately clear if those shipments were baked into last week's figures.

The agency also said that USA crude stockpiles had built for a fifth straight week, climbing by 3.7 million barrels last week to 455 million barrels.

Analysts say that the United States output will increase further and oil firms will raise exports to shift surplus stocks.

OPEC and some non-affiliated producers such as Russian Federation agreed late past year to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to prevent a large supply overhang from growing.

Goldman Sachs said in a note it expects OPEC output to average 31.1 million bpd in 2019, down from 31.9 million bpd.

That means much will depend on demand, which Goldman said it expected to grow by 1.4 million bpd this year.

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