API reports another large crude draw

Oil slips towards $69 ahead of US supply report

The high prices have been accompanied by money managers raising bullish positions in crude futures and options by record amounts, and this prompted Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Julius Baer, to worry that "hedge fund expectations for further rising prices have reached excessive levels". West Texas Intermediate crude reached $64.89 on Tuesday, both hitting more than three-year highs.

OPEC and Non-OPEC members agreed during a meeting in Vienna in Dec 10, 2016 to limit oil output in reaction to a drop in oil prices at the time. Analysts had expected a larger 3.596-million-barrel build.

Tighter markets have lifted both crude benchmarks about 13 percent above levels in early December, helped by production curbs by OPEC and Russian Federation, as well as by healthy demand growth.

Oil slips towards $69 ahead of US supply report

The continued drop in United States crude oil inventories corresponded to a decline in USA production for the week ending January 5, coming in at 9.492 million bpd compared to the week prior of 9.782 million bpd.

Goldman Sachs is not ready to raise its $62 target on Brent and $57.50 forecast for US crude in 2018, but says there's a growing risk that global inventories will fall too quickly and push up prices.

Meanwhile, global oil stockpiles in developed countries could actually fall below the five-year average - the level OPEC is targeting - as inventories approach normal levels, oil demand potentially outstrips Goldman's estimate and OPEC possibly cuts output too deeply.

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This week, the API is reporting another, although smaller, build in gasoline inventories of 1.782 million barrels for the week ending January 12.

In a note on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley said it now sees Brent hitting $75 a barrel by the third quarter of 2018, while US crude could hit $70 a barrel. For the third quarter of 2018, he raised his price target on Brent to $75 a barrel, up from $63 a barrel.

One of Russia's leading oil producers Lukoil said Russian Federation should start exiting the pact if crude prices remained at Dollars 70 per barrel for more than six months.

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Earlier, oil minister said the oil market was expected to re-balance towards the end of 2018 and any strategy to exit a deal on supply cuts between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers would be gradual.

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