On Thursday, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that USA crude inventories USOILC=ECI unexpectedly fell 1.6 million barrels last week.
Information released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration U.S. commercial crude inventories rose by three million barrels in the week to February 23 to a total of 423.5 million barrels.
The decline of stockpiles "is starting to turn into a potentially critical situation that could be very supportive" for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices, plus "the trouble in Libya seems to be on the upswing", he said.
"But amid worries over USA crude production at near record highs, oil is struggling to make a move".
But while the Brent-WTI spread jumped over $7 per barrel between September and December, it has sharply narrowed more recently. It's not out of the question to see a US production record for oil soon. Why?
Prices were supported by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who said on Saturday the country's January-March crude production would be well below output caps, with exports averaging less than 7 million barrels per day.
The selection of Al Falih came in appreciation and recognition of the pivotal role the energy minister of Saudi Arabia played through 2017 in shepherding the implementation of the Vienna Agreement to cut global oil supply, which played a seminal role in eroding record inventories and pushing oil prices to consolidate above $60 a barrel.
The prices of oil remained sturdy for three consecutive weeks in Saudi Arabia.
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He also pledged that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may ease supply curbs in 2019 without shocking the market. The second quarter oil market is preparing for the driving season.
That doesn't mean US crude exports will necessarily fall back to the old levels before past year, below 1 mb/d, for example.
"Production numbers and rig counts are just as important at this stage, particularly with U".
"We probably have a little more strength to go", in terms of upside potential for prices, John Macaluso, a trader at Tyche Capital Advisors LLC in NY, said by telephone.
Moreover, new pipelines have increased connections around the USA, easing bottlenecks and allowing more US oil to reach its destination.
Market participants were expecting a build in USA oil stocks of around 2.1 million barrels, according to an S&P Global Platts preview of the EIA oil stocks data. This fiscal it will import 36.5 million tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Arabia.