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Crude Oil Price Falls

Crude Oil Price Falls on Shock Inventory Increase

Shutterstock photo

The U.S. Energy Department’s inventory release showed that crude stockpiles recorded an unexpected build. This weighed on oil prices , sending West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures down 1.5% (or 81 cents) to $41.71 per barrel Wednesday.

On a bullish note, the report revealed that refined product inventories – gasoline and distillate – both decreased handsomely from their previous week levels.

Analysis of the EIA Data

Crude Oil: The federal government’s EIA report revealed that crude inventories increased by 2.26 million barrels for the week ending Dec 16, 2016, following a decline of 2.56 million barrels in the previous week.

The analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected crude stocks to go down some 2.3 million barrels. A jump in imports led to the surprise stockpile build with the world’s biggest oil consumer.

The latest inventory increase adds to the supply of excess oil in the U.S., though the year-over-year storage surplus has narrowed down considerably in recent months after a run of drawdowns.

At 485.45 million barrels, current crude supplies are up 7% from the year-ago period and are at upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

However, stocks at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange – was down 245,000 barrels from previous week’s level to 66.26 million barrels.

The crude supply cover – at 29.5 days – remained flat from previous week. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 29.1 days.

Sector 5YR % Return

Sector 5YR % Return

Gasoline: Supplies of gasoline were down for the first time in 6 weeks on falling imports and strengthening demand. The 1.31 million barrels draw – contrary to the analysts’ polled number of 1.1 million barrels increase in supply level – took gasoline stockpiles down to 228.74 million barrels. Despite last week’s decrease, the existing stock of the most widely used petroleum product is 4% higher than the year-earlier level and is well above the upper half of the average range.

Distillate: Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil) went down by 2.42 million barrels last week, dwarfing analysts’ expectations for a 900,000-barrels fall. The second successive weekly decrease in distillate fuel stocks could be attributed to higher demand and lower imports. At 153.52 million barrels, distillate supplies are 1.5% higher than the year-ago level and are sitting over the upper half of the average range for this time of the year.

Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization was 91.5% for the week.

About the Weekly Petroleum Status Report

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status Report, containing data of the previous week ending Friday, outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and abroad.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect the businesses of the companies engaged in the oil and refining industry.

The data from EIA generally acts as a catalyst for crude prices and affect producers, such as ExxonMobil Corp. XOM , Chevron Corp. CVX and ConocoPhillips COP , and refiners such as Tesoro Corp. TSO , Phillips 66 PSX and HollyFrontier Corp. HFC .

However, each of these firms has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which does not make them screaming buys. In case you are looking for energy names for your portfolio, one could opt for Newfield Exploration Co. NFX . It has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Crude up 11 cents

US crude settles at $52.23, up 11 cents, as analysts forecast big draw in stockpiles

CNBC

Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday on forecasts of a steep draw in U.S. crude oil stocks that could indicate a global oversupply is starting to shrink.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected weekly U.S. crude oil inventories to show a draw of 2.4 million barrels in the week ending Dec. 16.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 4.1 million barrels in the previous week.

International Brent crude oil futures rose 64 cents to $55.56 per barrel at 4:56 p.m. ET (2156 GMT).

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures settled Tuesday’s trade up 11 cents at $52.23 per barrel.

OPEC Vienna Deal bigger thana nyone thought

OPEC will comply with roughly 80 percent of deal quota: Analyst   

Both contracts rose despite a strong dollar, which hit a 14-year high. Crude prices often decline when the dollar strengthens, as it then becomes more expensive to hold dollar-denominated oil contracts.

“There are expectations that we’ll see supplies start to tighten by the end of the year,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “We’ll get more heating oil demand this weekend and could see a drop in production next week and even last week because of the cold temperatures.”

One outlying factor that has flummoxed some analysts has been a series of increases in U.S. inventories at the key oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. Flynn said this rise has been largely offset by a drop in Gulf Coast inventories.

Crude stocks fell more than expected last week, feeding expectations for another large drop in this week’s figures.

Traders said they were starting to square their books ahead of the upcoming Christmas weekend and the week running up to New Year. As a result, and barring major price-moving news, they said markets would likely remain tepid this week.

A deal to cut global supply among OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck this month has boosted oil prices to 17-month highs. The gains have set up 2016 to be the first year since 2012 in which Brent has risen.

“We are in a wait-and-see mood after OPEC-newsflow caused much volatility,” said Frank Klumpp, oil analyst at Stuttgart-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. “The new balance seems to be between $53 and $57 a barrel on Brent for the next weeks.”

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told Russian newspaper Vedomosti that Russia may extend a production cut beyond the first half of the year if needed.

Crucial price for oil is $55: Expert

Crucial price for oil is $55: Expert   

Reports late on Monday that Saudi Arabian crude oil exports fell by 176,000 barrels per day (bpd) in October had initially supported markets, but the effect later fizzled out due to an increase in Saudi exports of refined fuel products.

Barclays bank said that it expected a Saudi crude export cut to largely affect light crude oil grades, which mostly go to the United States.

“We think it is likely that the Saudis will curtail production/exports of their Arab Light crude and other lighter crudes this spring, easing the typical pre-summer ramp up in shipments to the U.S.,” the British bank said.

Saudi Arabia’s rising refined product output is part of a wider trend that affects mostly Asia.

Asia is seen posting its biggest net refining capacity additions in three years in 2017, further boosting demand for crude in the world’s biggest and fastest growing oil consuming region.

The increase amounts to about an additional 1.5 percent of refining capacity on top of Asia’s total installed capacity of nearly 29 million bpd.

Still, traders see no outright supply shortage for Asian refineries, as OPEC is shielding most of its Asian customers from the planned cuts.

Crude Oil up 22 cents

US crude settles at $52.12, up 22 cents as supply outlook remains unclear

CNBC

Pump jacks in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation near Lost Hills, Calif.
Pump jacks in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation near Lost Hills, Calif.

Oil prices were little changed on Monday, with few headlines to influence a market waiting to see whether U.S. production from shale fields will grow enough to offset planned output cuts by OPEC, Russia and other producers next year.

Brent crude futures traded at $54.93 per barrel at 2:35 p.m. ET (1935 GMT), down 28 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 22 cents $52.12 a barrel on its last day as the front-month contract.

“Implied U.S. output increases…will offset a significant portion of the planned OPEC production cuts especially since we don’t anticipate sustained strong compliance,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.

“While adherence to (OPEC) cutbacks could be quite high initially, we will be surprised by compliance much above 60 percent by the end of the first quarter as (U.S.) shale responds to a higher price environment,” Ritterbusch said.

Look for brent hitting $63 to $65 mark: Expert

Look for brent hitting $63 to $65 mark: Expert   

Traders noted a possible delay in Libyan exports provided some support to oil prices earlier in the session.

Late last week, a group guarding oil infrastructure in Libya said it had reopened a long-blockaded pipeline leading from the oilfields of Sharara and El Feel, but a separate group had prevented a production restart at El Feel.

The U.S. dollar hit 2002 highs last week. It was up by nearly 0.1 percent on Monday. A strong dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

But some analysts expect the strength in oil prices to continue into early 2017 due to the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil output from January.

“With investors now expecting a relatively high level of compliance with the production-cut agreements, prices should be well supported,” ANZ bank said on Monday.

$55-$60 oil is okay for reflation trades: Strategist

$55 to $60 oil is OK for reflation trades: Strategist   

Speculators raised their holdings of Brent crude oil futures to a new record high last week, following the first deal in 15 years to be agreed between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut output.

However, other market factors cast a shadow on the outlook, preventing prices from rising further.

In the United States, which did not participate in the output-reduction deal, drilling for new oil has increased for seven straight weeks.

Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January, though still below 541 rigs a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

“Since its trough on May 27, 2016, producers have added 194 oil rigs (+61 percent) in the U.S.,” U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said.

As a result, U.S. oil production is edging up, rising from below 8.5 million bpd in July to almost 8.8 million bpd by mid-December.

Weekly Outlook of Crude Oil Futures

Crude Oil Futures – Weekly Outlook: December 19 – 23

© Reuters.  Oil posts weekly gain on signs producers will comply with output cuts© Reuters. Oil posts weekly gain on signs producers will comply with output cuts

Investing.com – Oil futures finished higher on Friday, turning positive for the week amid indications that major crude producers are adhering to their promise to pull back on output.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for February delivery jumped $1.19, or 2.2%, to settle at $55.21 a barrel by close of trade Friday, not far from a 17-month high of $57.89 touched earlier in the week.

London-traded Brent futures logged a gain of 88 cents, or 1.6%, on the week.

Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in February tacked on 98 cents, or 1.9%, to end the week at $52.95 a barrel, within sight of a one-and-a-half-year peak of $54.51 logged on December 12.

For the week, New York-traded oil futures rose 40 cents, or 0.8%.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that all Russian oil companies have agreed to cut crude output under Moscow’s agreements with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

In addition, Kuwait reportedly notified customers that it would cut supplies from January as part of an effort by OPEC to stabilize the oil market.

OPEC members have agreed to reduce output by a combined 1.2 million barrels per day starting from January 1, their first such deal since 2008.

However, there are some worries in the market about production increases in the U.S. and Libya.

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week rose by 12 to 510, a level not seen in almost a year.

Meanwhile, Libya, which is allowed to ramp up production as part of the OPEC deal, restarted operations at two key oilfields. Libyan officials said the restarting of the oilfields and a connected pipeline could bring back more than 200,000 barrels a day of oil within days.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Oil traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that producers will stick to their agreement to cut production next year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, December 20

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, December 21

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Friday, December 23

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

Crude Oil in USA down at $50.90

US crude settles down 14 cents at $50.90, hit by dollar strength after Fed rate hike

CNBC

Stronger dollar weighs on oil

Stronger dollar weighs on oil   

Oil prices reversed earlier losses on Thursday after failing to break below technical support levels and as OPEC members told customers they would cut crude supplies as part of the cartel’s agreement to reduce output.

Earlier in the day, prices fell to the lowest level in a week as the dollar rallied following an increase in U.S. interest rates.

The dollar rose to a 14-year high against a basket of other currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in a year on Wednesday. A stronger dollar, in which oil is traded, tends to hit crude demand as it makes fuel purchases more expensive for users of other currencies.

International Brent crude oil futures rose 18 cents to $54.08 a barrel at 2:35 p.m. ET (1935 GMT), down 14 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures settled down 14 cents at $50.90 per barrel.

Oil outlook for 2017

Oil outlook for 2017   

“Brent tested the key $53 (a barrel) support level and now we’re seeing some buying because there is too much optimism as the market waits to see how some of OPEC’s supply cuts come through in the export data,” said Troy Vincent, an oil analyst at ClipperData in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers led by Russia have promised to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an attempt to clear a global oversupply that has depressed prices for more than two years.

National oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi have told customers in Asia they would cut crude supplies following OPEC’s decision to cut output. Saudi Arabia also told U.S. and European customers it would reduce oil deliveries, and traders said other OPEC members are expected to do the same.

“These delivery cut announcements provide psychological support that OPEC will follow through with their planned output cuts,” ClipperData’s Vincent said.

ANZ bank said on Thursday oil markets would move into a substantial deficit in the first quarter of 2017 if OPEC and other producers reduced output as promised.

“This will likely push oil prices well above $60 per barrel early next year,” it said.

See oil in a range of $60-$80: John Hess

See oil in a range of $60-$80: John Hess   

Oil companies have slashed costs in order to survive the low price environment, industry data show.

“2017 will be the third year investments go down, with 3 percent (declines). You need to go back to the ’80s to see three consecutive years of investment cuts,” said Audun Martinsen, vice president for Oilfield Service Research at Rystad Energy.

Crude prices also received some support from falling U.S. crude inventories.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that commercial crude inventories last week declined by 2.56 million barrels to 483.19 million barrels.

However, traders said it is far from clear whether OPEC and other producers will follow through with their announced cuts.

OPEC pumped 33.87 million bpd last month, according to figures it collects from secondary sources, up 150,000 bpd from October, OPEC said in a monthly report on Wednesday.

That shows the group’s output has continued to rise, adding to a global glut, ahead of the January start of its first supply cut agreement since 2008.

That could raise questions about its ability to comply fully with the deal.

US drillers pumped like crazy last week, and that’s a ‘major concern’ for OPEC

Oil outlook for 2017

Oil outlook for 2017   

Thanks, OPEC.

U.S. crude oil production surged by about 100,000 barrels a day last week, providing further evidence that American drillers are responding quickly to the higher prices that OPEC created by agreeing to curtail their own production.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day last month and got commitments from some nonmembers to 558,000 barrels a day in reductions this past weekend. Hopes for output limits had boosted prices ahead of the agreements.

American drillers were not among the nonmembers who agreed to cut. In the lower 48 states, they drove production to nearly 8.8 million barrels a day in the week through Dec. 9, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is up from about 8.7 million barrels a day the week prior.

To be sure, the weekly production figures are preliminary, and big jumps are not too rare. But a steadily rising four-week average for U.S. oil output points to an overall recovery. At 8.72 million barrels a day, the average was at its highest level since June.

Analysts warn that OPEC’s bid to balance an oversupplied market by cutting production could backfire if it causes oil prices to rise too much. Those higher prices could cause U.S. drillers sidelined by low oil prices to start pumping more oil.

The weekly jump in U.S. output is a “major concern” for OPEC members, said John Kilduff, founding partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital.

“This is exactly what several of them had been worried about. This deal gave new life to the shale industry,” he told CNBC. “OPEC’s going to have its hands full with them for a time.”

Recent hedging activity has allowed drillers to lock in prices for future deliveries of oil at $55 a barrel, a price that makes more of their acreage profitable, according to Kilduff, who has been bearish on oil prices and skeptical of OPEC’s ability to enforce production cuts.

The production surge follows an increase in the U.S. oil rig count of 21 rigs — the biggest one-week jump since a recovery in drilling activity began in June. Drillers have added a net 182 rigs since the count bottomed out at 316 rigs in May, according to data provided by oilfield services firm Baker Hughes.

The total U.S. rig count stood at 498 at last count, close the year-ago count of 524 rigs.

US Crude up 15 cents at $52.98

US crude ekes out another 17-month closing high, settles up 15 cents at $52.98 after producers confirm output cuts

CMBC

Oil prices surge on output freeze

Oil prices surge on output freeze   

Oil traded roughly flat on Tuesday, supported by strong demand in Asia and supply cuts by Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar as part of production curbs organized by OPEC and other exporters.

However, the market faced pressure as investors closed positions to take profits on strong gains the day before.

Traders said there was significant profit-taking after oil shot to mid-2015 highs earlier this week, boosted by the deal reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other exporters to cut output by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day.

Oil's rise a major head fake: Pro

Oil’s rise a major head fake: Pro   

Analysts said oil markets were still broadly supported by the arrangement to crimp output. In addition, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday that it had raised its forecsat for global oil consumption, which will also help reduce the overhang of supply.

In its monthly oil market report, the IEA said revisions to its estimate of Chinese and Russian consumption had prompted it to raise its forecast for global oil market demand growth this year by 120,000 barrels per day to growth of 1.4 million bpd.

However, analysts said prices will turn fast if the market believed compliance was lacking.

“The following three to six months will provide us with an answer as to whether the foundation is strong enough to hold the building or will it collapse like a house of cards,” PVM analysts wrote.

In a sign that producers are acting on their plans to cut output, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) told customers it would reduce Murban and Upper Zakum crude supplies by 5 percent and Das crude exports by 3 percent.

Oil producers are pragmatic: Expert

Oil producers are pragmatic: Expert   

Kuwait’s Petroleum Corporation (KPC) did similar, notifying its customers of a cut in their contractual crude oil supplies for January.

Meanwhile, China’s November crude output fell 9 percent on a year earlier to 3.915 million bpd , data showed on Tuesday, but recovered from October’s 3.78 million bpd, which was the lowest in more than seven years.

That came as China’s refinery throughput hit a daily record in November of 11.14 million bpd, up 3.4 percent year-on-year.

“Declines in Chinese … crude oil output and expansion of its strategic crude reserves underpin our view for China’s crude oil imports to strengthen over the coming quarters,” said BMI Research.

In India, Asia’s No.2 oil consumer behind China, fuel demand rose 12.1 percent in November compared with the same month last year, hitting 16.64 million tonnes (4.07 million bpd).

McDermott, Transocean Gushing Along With Crude Oil

THE STREET

Oil-services stocks have mixed performance against crude oil.

Here’s the weekly chart for Noble.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Noble shares trade around $7, down 36.4% year to date and in bear market territory 51.7% below its March 7 high of $13.90. The stock is in bull market territory 45.6% above its Nov. 2 low of $4.61.

The weekly chart is positive with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $5.90 and well below its 200-week simple moving average of $20.03. The weekly momentum reading is projected to rise to 48.84 this week up from 38.13 on Dec. 2.

Investors looking to buy Noble should consider doing so on weakness to $5.49, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2016. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so if the stock rises to $9.55, which is another key level on technical charts until the end of 2016.

Here’s the weekly chart for Transocean.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Transocean shares trade close to $15, up 19.9% year to date and in bull market territory 93.5% above its Feb. 24 low of $7.67.

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The weekly chart is positive but overbought with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $11.88 but well below its 200-week simple moving average of $27.85. The weekly momentum reading is projected to rise to 81.28 this week up from 75.24 on Dec. 2, moving above its overbought threshold of 80.00.

Investors looking to buy Transocean should consider doing so on weakness to $12.98, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of December. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so at $27.85, which is the 200-week simple moving average.

Here’s the weekly chart for Tidewater.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Tidewater trades around $3.50. The stock rose above the “option on survival” price range of $1 to $3, after a low of $1.50 set on Oct. 31. The stock is down 48% year to date and in bear market territory 70.3% below its March 7 high of $11.58. The stock is now in bull market territory 129.3% above its Oct. 31 low of $1.50.

The weekly chart is positive with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $2.63 and is still well below its 200-week simple moving average of $31.43. The weekly momentum reading is projected to rise to 41.15 this week up from 29.41 on Dec. 2.

Investors looking to buy Tidewater should consider buying weakness to $3 as an “option on survival.” Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so if the stock rises to $5.31, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2016.

You see Jim Cramer on TV. Now, see where he invests his money. Check out his multi-million dollar portfolio and discover which stocks he is trading. Learn more now.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Crude Oil up 2,2% in USA

US crude settles up 2.2% at $50.84, rallying after dip on OPEC deal doubt

CNBC

Jonathan Alcorn | Reuters
Oil jack pumps are pictured in the Kern River oil field in Bakersfield, Calif.

Oil rebounded from the week’s lows to close above $50 a barrel on Thursday as market watchers focused on an upcoming weekend meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers that may result in an agreement to cut crude output further.

Brent and U.S. oil prices gained support early from a slightly weaker dollar, but the U.S. currency turned positive as the euro fell on the European Central Bank’s decision to extend but reduce its bond-buying program.

North Sea Brent crude was up 94 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $53.94 a barrel by 2:35 p.m. ET (1935 GMT). U.S. light crude was up $1.07, or 2.2 percent, at $50.84 a barrel.

Both benchmarks have fallen more than $2 a barrel from highs reached on Monday when investors bought heavily in the wake of the OPEC deal.

The one guy who correctly predicted the fall of oil prices tells Cramer the price of oil in 2021

The one guy who correctly predicted the fall of oil prices tells Cramer the price of oil in 2021   

Oil producers meet in Vienna on Saturday to see whether those outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut production to help erase a global supply glut that has depressed prices for more than two years.

Late in the morning, Brent flipped into negative territory while U.S. prices pared gains briefly after reports that Russia sees a risk that the meeting could be moved due to questions that have come up. A Russian energy ministry spokeswoman, however, said the meeting would continue as planned.

Speaking at a conference in New York, former OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri said that a non-OPEC production cut of about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) was “a must.”

OPEC has agreed to slash production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017, a deal that bolstered crude futures despite doubts over whether the amount was enough and whether the cuts would be effectively implemented.

Given the rally to $50 a barrel, non-OPEC members may not be persuaded to cut output, said Tim Evans, energy futures specialist at Citigroup.

“Further effective cooperation between oil producers seems unlikely in our view, as OPEC and Russia have already agreed on policy, reducing the leverage they have with other countries in our view,” he said in a note.

Non-OPEC Russia has signaled it was ready to cut production by 300,000 bpd and on Thursday Azerbaijan said it would come to Vienna armed with proposals for its own reduction.

Energy and banking sectors remain in focus: Expert

Energy and banking sectors remain in focus: Expert   

Nevertheless, some analysts suggest the promised reduction in crude oil production may be insufficient to dent global oversupply and rebalance markets.

“Optimism over the OPEC cut decision has eroded a bit,” said SEB Chief Commodities Analyst Bjarne Schieldrop in Oslo.

“The devil will be in the details.”

Stocks data on Wednesday provided little guidance on the state of the U.S. oil market.

U.S. crude oil inventories dropped 2.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 2, compared with analyst expectations for a draw of 1 million barrels.

But stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for U.S. crude futures increased by 3.8 million barrels, the most since 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).