Oil prices fall over uncertainty on Opec output

Oil prices fall over uncertainty on Opec output

Oil futures rose on Wednesday as USA crude stockpiles fell last week, countering doubts about Russia's willingness to extend substantially a deal among exporters to curb output.

Brent crude futures, on delivery contract for January 2018, dropped 1.16%, or 74 cents, to $62.87 a barrel at 1:24 p.m. EST.

Most of the adjustments came from the long side of the market, where portfolio managers reduced the number of long positions in Brent, WTI and gasoline in a sign of profit-taking after a strong price rally. January crude fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, from Tuesday to $57.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, little changed from $57.77 before the supply data.

Answering the question whether Iraq itself supports the extension of the Vienna agreement, the minister replied: "Yes, of course". Many analysts see the deal as running throughout next year, but Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are attempting to work out differences over petroleum output ahead of the meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/russia-saudi-arabia-try-to-hammer-out-differences-on-oil-output-curbs-2017-11-29).

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi expects the oil-producing countries participating in the OPEC + agreement will decide to extend it.

Crude inventories fell 3.4 million barrels in the week to November 24, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 2.3 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories, according to the API, saw a draw this week, of 1.529 million barrels for the week ending November 24, compared to forecasts of a 1.17-million-barrel build.

OPEC members chose to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries chose to extend oil output cuts for nine months in Vienna on May 25.

According to OPEC's latest estimations, oil demand is going to rise to 33.420 million bpd in 2018, 360,000 bpd more than the organization's last forecast. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.3 percentage points.

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