Oil rises on strong China data, but rising USA output caps gains

Oil price rises have made US shale oil production profitable

Brent for May settlement added 30 cents to $64.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $3.78 premium to WTI for the same month.

Brent crude futures were at US$64.74 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.15%.

OPEC said in its monthly report that supply from non-members is likely to grow by 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, nearly double the growth it predicted in November, largely due to rising US supply. That was double the rise expected by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.

Rising U.S. output, as well as seasonally low demand, mean U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 9 to 428 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

Distillate inventories saw a large draw this week of 4.258 million barrels. Refinery utilization rates rose by 2 percentage points. "The upward pressure on gasoline and diesel could outweigh the bearish crude numbers". Gasoline futures surged 1% as stockpiles sank the most since September.

"Prices in the upper half of the oil price-band will encourage increased supply as USA production grows and countries reduce compliance with their production quotas", said Terry Marshall, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

The U.S. supply increase is expected to come as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, dominated by oil giant Saudi Arabia, works with Russian Federation to slash output after prices for crude plummeted to around $30 per barrel in 2016 from over $100 two years earlier.

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Longer term, the International Energy Agency expects US shale to cover 80% of the additional oil demand the world will see through 2020 and 60% by 2023, as Permian production doubles.

"With the tug of war between the US and OPEC the soap opera continues", said Scott Gecas, senior strategic account executive at Long Leaf Trading Group.

The weekly oil release follows news of an uptick in US shale deals.

Gasoline demand hit its highest level since August 2017, the EIA said. He will likely push for the U.S. to exit the nuclear deal with the Persian Gulf nation in May, and could advocate for tougher sanctions on Venezuela, which might boost oil prices, she said.

There is a split between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the ideal oil price.

"This U.S. shale engine is not expected to run out of steam soon", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at brokerage PVM.

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