Oil little changed as Saudi comments offset U.S. output, exports

The average price of Oman oil for November delivery stabilised at $54.02

The average price of Oman oil for November delivery stabilised at $54.02

Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose 46 cents, or 0.9%, to $52.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settle value since April 17.

US oil prices extended declines on Thursday after government data showed a surprise climb in USA crude inventories.

Mixed support from supply and demand metrics left crude oil prices in relatively static territory in the early rounds of Thursday trading.

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As of 1720 BST, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were off by 1.0% to $51.95 a barrel on the ICE.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), plus Russian Federation and nine other producers, have cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since January.

However, the oil prices were capped as the Saudi energy minister said on Tuesday that the oil exporter's focus remained on reducing oil stocks to their five-year average and raised the prospect of prolonged output restraint once an OPEC-led supply-cutting pact ends, according to Reuters.

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"When you couple what Mohammed Bin Salman said along with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, you have to realize we have two of the largest oil producers basically putting a blessing on an extension of production cuts through the end of 2018", Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors.

Prices have risen 11 out of the past 14 sessions, as a steady decline in inventories has boosted investor optimism that global supply and demand are starting to even out.

Government data Wednesday is forecast to show that inventories of crude oil fell and gasoline rose last week, both for the fifth week.

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EIA reported US crude oil production at 9.5 million barrels per day last week, 1.1 million barrels per day more than the previous week. Production rebounded from a sharp falloff due to Hurricane Nate, and imports rose as well. The price for Brent crude oil was down 0.26 percent to trade at $58.29 per barrel at 9:15 a.m. EDT.

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