Oil Ends Higher Wednesday

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures ended regular trade higher Wednesday afternoon after the U.S. Energy Information Administration raised its global oil demand estimate for this year and in 2017.

NYMEX October West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 67cts higher at $45.50 bbl after inside trade while November Brent crude on IntercontinentalExchange was up 72cts at a $47.98 bbl settlement, off a $48.10 two-day high.

In products trade, NYMEX October ULSD futures settled 1.80cts higher at $1.4265 gallon while NYMEX October RBOB futures climbed 3.0cts to $1.3464 gallon at settlement.

In its September Short-term Energy Outlook released this afternoon, EIA said it expects global crude oil consumption to grow at the rate of 1.5 million bpd this year to 95.357 million bpd, revised up 49,000 bpd versus estimates published last month. For 2017, crude consumption growth is estimated at a 1.4 million bpd rate to 96.780 million bpd, STEO added, up 24,000 bpd versus estimates published a month ago.

The upside for oil futures was also underpinned by expectations reports due out later this afternoon and midmorning Thursday would show domestic crude oil inventories declined during the week-ended Sept. 2.

A survey showed U.S. commercial crude stockpiles are expected to have been drawn down last week by 1.2 million bbl, gasoline stocks down by 300,000 bbl and distillate supplies to have risen by 1.0 million bbl.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its report to paying clients at 4:30 PM ET while EIA will release its report at 11:00 AM ET Thursday.

In addition, traders still hope to see an agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to stabilize oil prices. On Monday, Russia and Saudi Arabia announced an agreement to cooperate on stabilizing the market. OPEC is gearing for informal talks on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum set for Sept. 26-28 in Algiers. OPEC secretariat is trying to get members to support an eventual deal that could include freezing production.

"People are starting to seriously think OPEC will likely freeze production after the head of Iran's state oil company said they are getting close to pre-sanctions production level," analyst Phil Flynn at Price Futures.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@dtn.com