Oil jumps after US State Department shake up

USA crude stocks rose last week, but refined product inventories fell more than expected, with gasoline demand rising to a seven-month high, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 25 cents, or 0.4percent, to settle at $64.89 per barrel.

USA crude production, pushed up largely by shale oil drilling, is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). As the IEA noted in February, "In just three months to November, (U.S.) crude output increased by a colossal 846,000 bpd and will soon overtake that of Saudi Arabia".

USA production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Iran is pushing for prices at $60 a barrel, where Mr. Zanganeh says US oil production will remain under control and not flood the market. Prices have not returned to their January highs of over $70 per barrel for Brent and nearly $67 for WTI.

US bank Goldman Sachs said in a note that there was a "potentially large increase in (U.S.) drilling activity in coming weeks".

OPEC also said oil inventories across the mostindustrialized countries rose in January for the first time ineight months, a sign the impact of its output cuts may bewaning.

Earlier Wednesday, OPEC projected that USA and other non-OPEC supply growth will outpace global demand growth in 2018, raising the risk of imbalance in the oil markets and lower crude prices.

Official weekly US crude oil production and inventory figures are due to be published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday.

Not all market indicators were bearish, however.

Chinese oil production in January and February slipped to about 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd), while the amount of crude processed by its refineries rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million bpd, suggesting strong import demand.

"The emphasis on a range of outcomes within the price band helps to assess the resiliency to price volatility, and thus durability of credit ratings, for a given corporate of sovereign entity", the rating agency said.

Vanessa Coleman

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