Oil costs up with fall in US crude shares, manufacturing

ANKARA

Crude oil prices started Thursday on a higher note, after U.S. crude oil inventories and production showed declines that eased some concerns over the rising supply glut in the global oil market. 

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $67.83 per barrel at 0650 GMT with a 0.3 percent gain after closing Wednesday at $67.62 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $58.44 a barrel at the same time, posting nearly a 0.2 percent increase, after ending the previous session at $58.34 per barrel.

Commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. decreased by 3.9 million barrels, or 0.9 percent, to reach 449.1 million barrels for the week ending March 8, according to data by the U.S.’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) released on Wednesday.

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

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.

The production cut agreement by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led OPEC is also contributing to the removal of additional supplies in the market to push prices higher.

After cutting its output by 500,000 bpd in March from the month before, Saudi Arabia reported earlier this week on plans to limit its crude supply to below 7 million bpd.

As part of the deal, the kingdom lowered its crude production to 10.24 million bpd in January, from 10.64 million bpd in December, based on direct communication data, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market report for February.

The U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s and Venezuela’s oil sector also create an upward pressure.

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