Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

U.S. crude slips 57 cents, retreating from mid-2015 highs

U.S. crude slips 57 cents, retreating from mid-2015 highs

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose 95 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $62.68 a barrel by 12:29 p.m. EST (1729 GMT) after touching its highest since December 2014 at $62.80. Brent for March settlement climbed 75 cents to $68.53 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

A senior OPEC source from a major Middle Eastern oil producer said on Monday that OPEC was monitoring unrest in Iran as well as Venezuela's economic crisis, but will boost output only if there are significant and sustained production disruptions from those countries.

The American Petroleum Institute reports its weekly inventories numbers this afternoon, followed by the government's official report tomorrow morning.

Crude oil prices fell Friday, dropping from highs last seen in 2015, as soaring USA production undermined a 10% rally from December lows that were driven by tightening supply and political tensions in OPEC member Iran, Reuters reported.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global petroleum and other liquid fuel inventories fell on average for the first year since 2013 last year.

Crude oil futures continued to surge Tuesday on expectations the global oil market will soon re-balance.

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Pump jacks bring oil up from wells in North Dakota. Last month's report showed a forecast for 2018 record US crude output of 10 million barrels a day.

OPEC members don't want Brent oil to rise above $60 a barrel because higher prices could bring more supply from shale output, Iran's oil minister said.

The EIA forecast that USA crude oil production will average 10.3 million barrels per day in 2018 and 10.8 million barrels per day in 2019, breaking historical records for annual average production.

The rise in prices is expected to drive gains in US production during 2018, offsetting curbs by others.

Saudi Arabian Oil set to appoint banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., to help manage its initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said, as the state-owned crude producer pushes ahead with what could be the world's largest share sale.

However, some analysts believe market participants are getting to optimistic, especially given expectations for an increase in USA shale production.

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