Oil prices log lowest settlement in almost 3 weeks

An offshore oil platform is seen at the Bouri Oil Field off the coast of Libya

"This is more a timely correction".

At around $60.50 per barrel, USA crude is now some $4 per barrel cheaper than Brent, off which most other crudes are priced.

Even with Wall Street stocks posting their largest one-day fall since late 2011 on Monday and measures of volatility spiking to multi-year highs, reflecting heightened investor nervousness, oil has not suffered to the same extent. These are declining domestic production, growing oil and liquid fuels consumption, a build-up in strategic reserves, refinery sector reform which allows independent refiners to import quotas of crude oil, and increasing refinery capacity and utilization.

While Energy Information Administration data show it's the fourth-largest OPEC producer's first cargo of US oil, Adnoc said in July it purchased condensate from the USA for September delivery. Crude and oil product inventory builds aside, the EIA also reported USA domestic crude production hitting 10.251 million b/d, exceeding the 10.044 million b/p record set in 1970. The Energy Information Administration raised its forecasts on 2018 and 2019 US crude production in a monthly report released Tuesday. It's the fourth-largest OPEC producer's first cargo of United States oil, according to EIA data.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih will visit India on February 23- February 24, while US Energy Secretary Rick Perry would be here between February 28 and March 1, he said. John Kilduff, founding partner of the energy hedge fund Again Capital, says he fears this sell-off will continue.

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The costs of labor and contracted services have recently risen sharply in the most active oilfields; drillable land prices have soared; and some shale financiers are calling on producers to focus on improving short-term returns rather than expanding drilling.

A majority of analysts are also cautious that the recent gains may not last long as shale producers in the U.S. are ramping up production in the wake of rising prices while locking in prices in the derivatives market. China imported on average 8.4 million bpd in 2017, compared with 7.9 million bpd of imports for the United States. Total OPEC production in January was around 32.5 million barrels per day, below its ceiling of around 32.7 million barrels per day.

Although the news is significant inasmuch as it indicates the United States' strengthening position on global oil markets, it is unlikely that USA condensate imports into the UAE will become a regular thing, according to at least one analyst. Last month, it expected a 580,000-bpd increase to 10.85 million bpd.

While US inventories have fallen significantly, OPEC believes there's still a considerable overhang in other regional stocks that needs to be corrected.

Officially, OPEC says the cuts will last until the end of this year, but the cartel gave itself flexibility by saying it would review the plan at its upcoming June meeting.

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"We feel oil prices should be reduced", Pradhan told reporters here.

Maduro considers it possible to work out a joint cryptocurrency mechanism for all OPEC members and other major oil producers.

He also pledged his commitment to the OPEC production cut arrangement for years to come.

The API was said to report US crude stockpiles slid 1.05 million bbls last week, with storage also shrinking at tanks in the key hub of Cushing, Okla.

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