Crude Oil Accelerates Higher To Extend Win Streak

Oil rises but US drilling drags

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 44 cents, or 1.0 per cent, at $43.45 per barrel.

Crude oil prices were firmly in positive territory in early Tuesday trading.

"The possibility that US refinery utilization may have likely peaked this calendar year, when combined with rising output, points to the prospect of higher crude-oil inventories", Geoffrey Craig, oil futures editor S&P Global Platts, wrote in a note late Monday.

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A report emailed from S&P Global Platts said the analysts it surveyed are expecting US crude oil inventories to decline by 3.25 million barrels and gasoline stocks could drop 900,000 barrels. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 2.2 million barrels.

Brent crude oil futures rose 0.29 dollar or 0.64 percent to close at USD 45.83 a barrel at NYMEX.

The increase in USA drilling activity and shale production has mostly offset efforts by OPEC and other producers to cut output in a move to prop up the market. OPEC nations and 11 other exporters agreed in May to extend cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March.

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Analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said demand had not grown quickly enough to mop up any excess output.

The glut continues due to rising production in Libya and Nigeria-both OPEC nations exempt from the deal-as well as high output from American shale producers and Saudi Arabia's failed policy of cutting exports to force the USA and major Asian nations to tap into existing inventories. It said its production has surpassed 3.8 million bpd and is expected to reach 4 million bpd by March.

USA crude futures were up 92 cents, or about 2 percent, at $44.30 per barrel. Iran has also been allowed a small increase. "Short-term financial investors also significantly scaled back their net long positions in Brent on the ICE last week.and find themselves at their lowest level in a year and a half", Commerzbank said in a research note. "It will depend on the weekly US inventory data". "It makes sense that we're either going to stabilize or be up a little unless some news comes out".

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