US Oil Prices Pull Back Some in Asia

US Oil Output Will Hit 11 MMBOPD in 2019: EIA

US gas, oil production up in 2018, but gasoline prices will be higher: EIA

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices reached a December 2014 high of $63.67 a barrel earlier on.

On prices, the agency said Brent, the benchmark for North Sea crude oil spot prices, is forecast to average $60 per barrel this year and $61 per barrel in 2019, after experiencing a sharp run up last year.

Brent for March settlement advanced to $69.90 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 11:28 Eastern time.

EIA estimates that the implied global stock change (the difference between total world consumption and total world production) averaged 0.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, marking the first year of global inventory draws since 2013. The February contract for light sweet crude gained $1.23 U.S. to settle at $62.96 United States a barrel.

The EIA revised its production growth forecast for 2018 sharply higher to 970,000 bpd from 780,000 bpd in its previous outlook.

Also impacting prices is an increase in Asian demand for crude oil and petroleum products.

USA crude stockpiles dropped to 419.5 million barrels last week, the lowest level since August 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude in NY was $US62.67 a barrel, on Tuesday, the highest in since December 2014.

US crude inventories fell 4.9 million barrels last week, more than the 3.9-million decline forecast, but bigger-than-expected builds in gasoline and fuel stocks offset that drawdown, the Energy Information Administration reported.

USA production growth is estimated at 1.5 million bpd in 2018 and 1 million bpd in 2019, with Canada and Brazil expected to contribute combined growth in both years of some 400,000 bpd. EIA expects global inventories to increase by about 0.2 million b/d in 2018 and by about 0.3 million b/d in 2019.

"Inventories ended 2017 9.3 percent above the five-year average, a stark contrast to the 35.6 percent surplus seen at the end of 2016", Oil Futures Editor Geoffrey Craig said in a statement emailed to UPI. Demand is expected to climb an additional 340,000 bpd in 2019 to 20.65 million bpd, the agency said. Nigerian crude oil production is sparred so far, though the OPEC members's national security earned it an exemption from the multilateral balancing act.

Overall, dry natural gas production averaged 73.6 billion cubic feet per day in 2017, up 1 percent from 2016. According to the Q4 Dallas Fed Energy Survey published at end-December, 42 percent of executives at 132 oil and gas firms expect the US oil rig count to substantially increase if WTI prices are between $61 and $65 a barrel.

If achieved, it would break previous records as higher petroleum prices trigger a drilling revival in shale fields, the Energy Information Administration's first short-term forecast for 2019 reveals.

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