United States inventories of oil, gasoline fall in latest week

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Oil prices rallied on Wednesday as USA crude stockpiles declined for a sixth straight week.

New York Oil prices rose on Wednesday after US government data showed a decline in domestic crude inventories and strong refining activity in the world's largest oil consumer, ahead of next week's meeting of major oil producers.The Energy Information Administration said USA crude stocks declined for the sixth straight week.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (UCO) (XLE) (USO) futures contracts for June delivery rose 0.84% and closed at $49.07 per barrel on May 17, 2017. U.S. EIA is expected to report that storage levels grew by 60.29 billion cubic feet of gas during week ended May 12, according to the average forecast of analysts, brokers and traders surveyed. "Refinery runs over 750,000 bpd higher than year-ago levels for the US has been enough to usher in a build - despite stronger imports".

"Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading - who correctly called for crude's plunge to the $30 range back in 2013 - said oil could be on the verge of a massive rally that would send the commodity to levels not seen in three years", reports CNBC.

Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by plentiful supply despite ongoing efforts led by OPEC to tighten the market by cutting production.

Meanwhile, gasoline inventories dropped by only 0.413 million against expectations for a draw of 0.731 million barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.94 million barrels, compared to expectations of a 1 million decline.

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Leaders from OPEC and other producers meet in Vienna on May 25 to decide on output policy.

The International Energy Agency said on Tuesday commercial oil inventories in industrialized countries rose 24.1 million barrels in the first quarter of 2016.

India's April imports from Iraq topped 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time, up by about a third from March and 8 percent from a year ago, according to ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation pledged their support for an extension, and thus an agreement by all OPEC members at their upcoming meeting next week seems to have become a formality only.

"The agreement by OPEC to extend cuts into 2018 is critical", said AB Bernstein in a note.

North Sea oil shipments to Asia have also been at record highs this year, with nearly 19 tankers registered to have been shipped in Q1, and a similar amount expected to go to Asia in the second quarter.

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