Iran oil production surpasses 3.8m bpd in January

Brent futures have lost as much as 15 per cent since hitting a four-year high above US$71 in late January.

Crude is struggling to extend last month's largely dollar-driven gains on speculation that USA output will impede efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain a glut.

"Generally, a stronger dollar suppresses demand for dollar denominated commodities like crude oil, since consumers outside the USA who have to acquire dollars as foreign exchange slow down buying", said an oil ministry official. The size of last week's build was mitigated by a surprise jump in refinery activity.

"Among factors, strong consumer confidence in the economy has contributed to drivers using more gasoline than usual this winter", a AAA statement read.

U.S. production is expected to grow by 2 million barrels a day between February 2017 and November this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Brent Crude Oil price at London's IСE Stock Exchange down by 1.57% to $64.40 per barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 54 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $60.61, having settled down 1 per cent in the previous session at its lowest close since January 2.

Hedge funds have cut their bullish exposure to petroleum for the first time in six weeks as oil prices stalled and sentiment turned more cautious amid concerns about an increasingly crowded trade.

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.

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We were first for a few weeks and then we were always second, I don't remember us being fourth, fifth or sixth. You can not deny and everyone knows here in England how complicated it is playing at Burnley .

The number of oil drilling rigs in the USA climbed for a second week in a row.

"The U.S. can not stop producing", according to analysts at consultancy JBC Energy.

The US Energy Information Administration raised its domestic production forecast to 10.59 million barrels per day, which is 300,000 barrels per day more than last week's expectations.

USA crude exports have surged since the lifting of a decades-old ban in late 2015, helping support prices despite the rise in production.

Futures fell as much as 1.1 percent in NY after the Energy Information Administration said American crude in storage tanks and terminals increased by 1.9 million barrels last week.

Iran has increased its production in the oil fields west of the Karun River, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) qoeted US Bloomberg as saying. The EIA said this year the USA will produce an average of 10.6 million bpd, rising to 11.2 million bpd next year.

"Clearly, the data points to an imbalanced market and oil prices have responded by turning sharply lower", he added.

On Wednesday U.S. equity futures fell and the dollar rose. As you recall, the same agency announced last month that the USA will pass Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation in crude oil volumes by the end of the year.

For the past week, crude imports averaged 7.9 million barrels a day, down by 500,000 compared with the previous week.


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