WTI, Brent crude oil futures settle higher

Oil lifts before surprise US crude build

Oil prices edged down on Tuesday after OPEC reported an increase in its production for May despite a supply cut agreement and said the oil market was rebalancing more slowly than expected.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.74% to $48.36 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.

However, gasoline stocks rose 2.1 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 457,000-barrel drop.

The shipments for the first five months of this year are slightly higher than the 25.4 million bpd the producer group exported via tankers in the same period in 2016.

In November a year ago, when OPEC members agreed to cut production for the first time since the Great Recession, it was welcomed with great optimism and oil price jumped more than 20 percent, from $45 per barrel to as high as $55 per barrel (WTI).

Opec and 11 rival exporters including Russian Federation have agreed to extend a deal to limit supply by 1.8 million bpd to March 2018, in order to cut global inventory levels.

"Where oil prices go will be determined by the flow of inventory data", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at Australian futures brokerage AxiTrader.

However, rising US production has stymied OPEC's efforts to rebalance markets.

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"While the demand is robust, there is a serious likelihood that prices will sink next year to $30-$35 a barrel and will stay there for a while", Fesharaki added.

Meanwhile, the implied market deficit for 2Q2017 has narrowed from.7 mb/d to.5 mb/d due to reduced demand, primarily because of weaker Chinese and European data, and an increase in global supply, IEA stated.

The IEA report came a day after OPEC's monthly oil report (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opec-oil-production-rose-in-may-owed-to-unexpected-boost-from-iraq-2017-06-13), which showed that the group's output rose 1% in May from April amid gains in Iraq, Nigeria and Libya.

Distillate inventories fell this week by 1.451 million barrels, while inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site fell by 833,000 barrels after last week's dip of 1.56 million barrels.

In a report on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said rising USA output will contribute to supply growth exceeding demand growth in 2018.

Crude oil futures fell Wednesday morning, after weekly industry data showed a surprise build in US stockpiles.

The U.S. alone will account for about half that increase in supply, the IEA said.

The Saudis are carrying the bulk of the output reductions among OPEC members, and the shipping data suggest they are doing their part by lowering exports as well.

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