Oil prices up with fall in United States crude stocks, production

EIA: The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum

The decline in inventories and output in the world's biggest crude producer alleviated some investor unease on the rising crude oil oversupply around the world.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures edged up 29 cents to $58.55.

While it may be just as problematic as the notion of global oversupply that dominated analytical fears until recently, the perception of a tightening market continued to result in gains for crude prices, with US oil settling a substantial 2.4 percent higher on Wednesday.

Brent crude oil futures hit a 2019-peak of $68.14 per barrel on Thursday before easing modestly to $67.05 by 0840 GMT, up 50 cents or 0.74 percent from Wednesday's close.

EIA expects these trends to continue over the next several years.

Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

Several factors contributed to the idea of a tightening market, including the Energy Information Administration reporting on Wednesday that US crude inventories fell by 3.9 million barrels last week.

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Forecasts slowed USA production to a record of 13 million barrels per day (bps) until the third quarter of 2020, instead of the second quarter of previous forecasts.

Two sources told Reuters that the United States aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers.

An unexpected dip in US crude oil inventories and production also supported prices, traders said.

For 2020, the government said it expected USA crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts.

The trade volume of petroleum in the United States includes crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas plant liquids, according to EIA.

Data from the Petroleum Institute showed that distillate stocks, including diesel and fuel oil, increased by 195,000 barrels, compared to a forecast of 1.9 million barrels.

Crude oil production in the country also fell by 106,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12 million bpd, the data showed.

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