The strength of the dollar continues to weigh on oil markets and pushed both Brent and WTI indexes lower for a third consecutive trading day.
The rate of refinery utilization was projected to fall 0.3 percentage point from 88.1 percent of total capacity in the week ended January 26, according to the poll.
A fall in U.S. crude stocks reported by the American Petroleum Institute Tuesday sparked a brief rally in oil prices, but "it is doubtful whether this will be confirmed by the [EIA] this afternoon", Commerzbank analysts said. Brent for April settlement declined 11 cents to $66.75 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a premium of $4.11 to WTI for the same month. Gasoline demand jumped 6.5 percent. The EIA says USA crude production will rise to 11.18 million bpd.
The Azerbaijani Energy Ministry reported that the country has presented its data on daily oil output for the first month of 2018 to the OPEC Joint Technical Commission under the Monitoring Committee.
The amount of rigs drilling for oil rose to 765 by late January, more than double the 316 that were in operation during 2016's production lull.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $61.90, down 0.56 per cent.
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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, have cut production since January 2017 to force down global inventories.
Rising non-Opec output is likely to cap oil prices at some point, but now markets seem to be factoring in only the positive news. China imported on average 8.4 million bpd in 2017, compared with 7.9 million bpd of imports for the United States. I can say this more confidently than a few weeks ago, because now we have break in market structure: the last low that led to that fakeout was at $68.30/40. Oil would most certainly be much higher without the "shale revolution" we've seen in the last decade.
That is largely due to soaring United States shale oil production, which has jumped by nearly 18 per cent since mid-2016 to 10 million barrels per day (bpd), surpassing top exporter Saudi Arabia.
The futures market is in backwardation where prompt oil prices exceed those for future delivery 0#CL: , suggesting investors expect demand to outpace supply.
On Wednesday U.S. equity futures fell and the dollar rose.