Crude Oil Lower Despite API Inventories Surprise

When Success Isn't Enough       OPEC has almost cleared the oil glut but Saudi Arabia wants to go further              Source IEA

Oil prices rose to two-week highs on Thursday, boosted by data showing a surprise draw in USA crude inventories and also by a drop in the dollar.

Brent crude futures settled 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, higher at $65.42 a barrel, after trading between $64.40 and $65.53.

The futures on USA light crude oil with delivery in April fell by 0.78% to 61.31 Dollars per barrel, while Brent variety erased 0.58% to 64.87 USD per barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute's February 9 report indicated United States crude oil inventory at 3.9 million barrels as against the expected 2.8 million barrels. "The market's been concerned about USA production ramping, so as long as you still have these healthy inventory reports, it helps ease some of the fears".

Investors will also be watching USA inventory data from the Energy Information Administration due on Thursday.

"U.S. shale continues to rise to the occasion", he said. Shipments from the group will fall by 300,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to March 10, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

Exports of USA crude jumped to just above 2 million bpd, close to a record 2.1 million hit in October.

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Prices are being pulled in two directions, with recent comments from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showing commitment to ongoing production cuts giving support, while rising forecasts for USA shale output provide pressure, said Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas.

Since oil trading is conducted in dollars, a rise in the greenback makes fuel imports for countries using other currencies domestically more expensive, potentially curbing demand.

Futures lost as much as 1.5 percent in NY.

Crude oil futures were lower Thursday morning as the dollar continued to strengthen on the euro. By contrast, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report they fell by 907 000 barrels.

But analysts said oil markets were still generally well supported due to rising demand for crude and production restraint led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases official inventory data on Thursday.

At the same time, crude moving from storage facilities in Cushing, Oklahoma, to tankers on the Gulf Coast helped exports jump 55 percent to 2 million barrels a day, the most since October.

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