Fear factor drives the price of oil lower

Fear factor drives the price of oil lower

EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average $4/bbl lower than Brent prices in both 2018 and 2019.

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.

The US now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The Energy Information Administration said US crude production hit 10.25 million barrels per day last week, up from 9.92 million bpd the week prior.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.1 percent to $66.93 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.

Another factor that could influence prices is USA production. That was more than $4 below their high-point for 2018, hit last month.

Gasoline stockpiles continued to increase last week, the EIA also said.

More news: SunTrust Banks Weighs in on Snap Inc's FY2022 Earnings (SNAP)

A recent rebound in drilling rig activity boosted production after futures prices extended a rally to three-year highs earlier this month. The company's full-year profit of $6.2 billion was more than double the previous year and full-year production was the highest since 2010. These positions have been trimmed, but are still largely arrayed in favour of rising oil prices.

Oil prices dropped as the USA benchmark dropped to the lowest settlement in two weeks.

Crude oil production alone fell by an annual 4 percent to 191.51 million tons - or about 3.85 million bpd in 2017 - to the lowest in nine years, due to maturing fields and few viable new discoveries at home.

The official stockpiles report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will be released later today. China imported on average 8.4 million bpd in 2017, compared with 7.9 million bpd of imports for the United States.

As the Dow plummeted oil prices were lower, pressured by rising United States output and other factors. However, front-month contracts fell further on Wednesday than further-dated futures, suggesting the EIA data dented that bullish view.

The U.S. exported about 700,000 barrels of light domestic crude in December to the U.A.E., the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

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