At $56 Per Barrel, Crude Oil Set for Highest Gain Since 2004

At $56 Per Barrel, Crude Oil Set for Highest Gain Since 2004”

Official weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an OPEC committee concluded the cartel and allied oil producers overshot production curbs called for in their agreement, according to two delegates.

Traders were also encouraged by the news that the Iraqi oil minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners were considering extending or deepening output cuts.

Brent crude futures climbed 22 cents, or 0,4%, to US$55,37.

OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and other non-OPEC members such as Russian Federation pledged they will decrease their output to by 1.8 million barrels per day in 2017 up to next year. Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were seen falling 1.6 million barrels last week, the poll showed.

Crude oil prices continued to rise Wednesday despite a significant build in US oil inventories.

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Crude inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels in the week ending September 15, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 3.5 million barrels. Kuwaiti Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said the group won't look at an extension of the deal this week even as Algeria's energy minister told his nation's state-run press agency that an extension will be discussed.

Oil prices have mostly been in an uptrend over the past three weeks since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and the oil-and-gas rich U.S. Gulf of Mexico on August 26, shutting down a quarter of the U.S. refining capacity of almost 18 million bpd. According to The Economic Times, oil producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq have already cut oil production and export to strengthen prices. Ahead of that, will be API's closely-watched inventory sampling at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. On Friday, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed domestic oil drillers running the lowest number of rigs since June.

"I don't think it's a sure thing they extend the deal at this meeting anyway", Kilduff said.

Some market participants, however, think the amount of crude swirling in the market in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was being underestimated.

The EIA also said total domestic crude output rose by 157,000 barrels a day to 9.510 million barrels a day.

Moreover, even if this week's OPEC meeting ends on a high note and supports the argument that their cuts have been effective, any revival in prices will be short lived thanks to the unstoppable US shale industry, which rebounded from Hurricane Harvey far quicker than anyone had predicted.

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