Crude Oil Steady Ahead Of Inventories

Oil prices under pressure

Brent crude prices consolidated recent gains at around Dollars 70 a barrel, a level not seen since 2014's dramatic oil market slump.

Last week, the API reported a huge draw of 11.19 million barrels of crude oil and an increase of 4.338 million barrels in gasoline inventories.

Oil inventories have plunged in the past two months, helping drive oil prices higher.

They include unprecedented high conformity levels among the 24 participating nations in terms of the production adjustments, strong oil demand growth, and slower than anticipated growth in US tight oil supply.Barkindo said: "It is worth emphasizing the global importance and impact of the various historic decisions reached in 2016 that have led to the improving market conditions of today."The broad consensus is that the market would be in a much more hard situation without the "Declaration of Cooperation".

The Minister said the upcoming committee meeting of some OPEC and non-OPEC ministers in Oman would focus on reviewing adherence to the cuts, adding that compliance in December was at 125 percent, while in November it was 122 percent, the highest since the deal started in January 2017.

Despite this, analysts warned that the recent oil price rally, which has lifted crude by around 14 percent since early December, may be about to run out of steam.

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Despite this, Ruecker warned that "hedge fund expectations for further rising prices have reached excessive levels", especially as political risk factors that have helped boost Brent, including tensions in Qatar, Kurdish regions and in Iran have so far not caused significant supply disruptions.

Elsewhere, threats by Nigerian militants on Wednesday to attack offshore oil facilities within days were supportive of prices.

"After years of oversupply, the inventories are contracting much faster than the markets had anticipated", said Stephen Innes, Head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore. "U.S. oil producers will ramp up production in the coming months".

Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday morning.

US crude output is expected to soon break 10 million bpd, challenging top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

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