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Oil falls on early Thursday for 3rd day as U.S. inventories hit record high



Petroleumworld.com 03 02 2017

Crude oil fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday as a record build-up in U.S. stockpiles weighed on the market, with producers boosting shale oil production.

Crude stockpiles in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, rose by 1.5 million barrels last week, less than forecast, but touching a record at 520.2 million barrels after eight straight weekly builds.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures slipped 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $53.71 a barrel by 0025 GMT. Benchmark Brent crude futures were yet to start trading after falling in the last session.

Still, oil remained locked within a tight trading range as strict OPEC compliance with output cuts offset rising U.S. oil reserves.

"Crude oil prices... (are) unable to break out of the increasingly tight range they have been trading in for the past month," ANZ said in a note.

"EIA data showed a pickup in the inventory build in the U.S. Stocks rose by a lower-than-expected."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced its oil output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found, showing the exporter group has boosted already strong compliance to around 94 percent.

Heftier cuts by Saudi Arabia and Angola helped offset weaker compliance by other members that agreed to limit their output.

Compliance by Russia still remains weak.

Russian oil production fell in February to around 11.10 million barrels per day (bpd), from over 11.2 million in October, two sources familiar with the data told Reuters on Wednesday. It had pledged to cut its oil output by 300,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2017

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin from Reuters.

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