By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices eased on Thursday, dragged down by record U.S. crude output and rising commercial fuel inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.11 per barrel at 0033 GMT, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.
Brent crude futures had yet to trade.
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose much more than expected last week, with inventories up by 7.1 million barrels to 452.93 million barrels, according to a weekly report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
U.S. crude oil production remained at a record 12.1 million barrels per day (bpd), an increase of more than 2 million bpd since early 2018.
Surging U.S. production is undermining efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) this year to withhold around 1.2 million bpd of supply to tighten markets and prop up prices.
“The balance between rising U.S. production and the OPEC+ efforts to stabilize prices with a production cut was broken by higher than expected U.S. inventories and the OECD warning of lower global growth impacting energy demand going forward,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD) said on Wednesday the world economy would grow 3.3 percent in 2019, down 0.2 percentage points from the OECD’s last set of forecasts in November.
GRAPHIC: U.S. crude output & inventory levels – https://tmsnrt.rs/2VegNR3
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin)