Oil Jumps as Surprise US Supply Drop Dispels Shale Boom Fears

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

Oil prices were mixed Tuesday, as lower-than-expected inventories buoyed the USA crude grade while refinery maintenance in Europe weighed on oil prices in the region.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.38 a barrel at 0518 GMT, up 70 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last settlement.

Although Brent achieved a modest 20 cent rise to $65.45 per barrel, WTI dropped an equally modest 11 cents to $61.68 as traders awaited the latest data on inventories from the American Petroleum Institute, to be released Thursday; according to a Reuters poll, stocks are expected to have risen by 1.3 million barrels in the week to February 16.

USA crude inventories USOILC=ECI unexpectedly fell 1.6 million barrels last week as net imports dropped to a record low and exports surged, while inventories declined further at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts are expecting United States crude stocks to have increased by 2.5 million barrels for the week ended February 16.

Futures fell 1.1% in London.

Rising output from U.S. producers has raises fears that falling global inventories will not necessarily translate into gains in crude prices. Still, the effort could come under strain if any one country relents, and USA shale production is another threat.

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The price of the commodity has been seeing a softer run this past couple of days as the greenback continues with its bullish run.

One of the latest factors that made the dollar rise at an incredible pace this week is the tremendous and hawkish minutes that came from the previous Federal Reserve meeting.

Moreover, a strengthening US dollar also weighed on the market on Wednesday, as a stronger greenback made the dollar-priced oil less attractive for holders of other currencies.

Futures prices have also been dented by the physical markets, which are showing signs of seasonal weakness, given that most of the world's refineries close, either partially or wholly, to conduct maintenance at this time of year and cut their crude intake as a result. The supertankers can ship about 2 million barrels of oil.

API said crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 2.6 million barrels. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases official inventory data on Thursday.

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