Oil Pushes Higher, Despite Growing US Output

Iran's light crude oil price up 79 cents in a week

Oil Holds Gain as US Drilling Eases for First Time in 7 Weeks

Helping the dip, hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish wagers on USA crude oil for the first time in three weeks, data showed on Friday.

According to multiple sources, the USA crude may fall back to its December oil production which reached whopping 10 million barrels per day.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.20 a barrel at 0122 GMT, down 16 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their previous close. Gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest in almost a month.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.80 per barrel, down 15 cents, or 0.2 per cent.

Both WTI and Brent as recently as Thursday had marked their lowest settlements since mid-February.

However, if predictions from Warren Patterson, a commodities strategist at ING Groep NV, prove accurate, Iran has nothing to worry about: because USA activity is angering OPEC allies to the degree they will soon abandon the cartel's production cutback deal, pump all out, and drive prices back down again.

"The rapidly growing USA shale production is making it virtually impossible for prices to rise", according to analysts at Commerzbank.

"The longer the deal goes on, it's going to start falling apart", Patterson said in an interview in Singapore, referring to an output-cut agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation.

The predictions and the forecasts for the oil production are looking grim at an expected 11 million barrels per day and more by the end of the year.

Crude oil prices are lower today after falling yesterday.

The split is driven by differing views over whether $70 a barrel would send US shale companies into a production frenzy that could cause prices to crash.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday that energy companies last week cut oil rigs for the first time in nearly two months.

U.S. Shale production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It was the first such decline in seven weeks.

The increase in rig count in the USA also points to more output to come in the future.

In other trading, April gasoline fell 0.5% to $1.894 a gallon, while April heating oil fell 1.2% to $1.865 a gallon.

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