Oil Mostly Higher Ahead EIA Data

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures moved mixed with an upside bias at the start of regular trade Wednesday morning, with West Texas Intermediate crude and ULSD contracts extending gains on short-covering ahead of weekly petroleum supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The oil futures complex rose overnight after the American Petroleum Institute released data that showed a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and data from China showed expected economic growth that would support demand.

The API showed a 3.8 million bbl crude stock decline that contrasted with an expected build of 2.5 million bbl for the week-ended Oct. 14. Gasoline stockpiles rose nearly 1.0 million bbl versus an expected draw of 1.5 million bbl, the data showed, and distillate supplies fell 2.3 million bbl, more than an expected draw of 2.0 million bbl. EIA is expected to release its weekly oil supply data at 10:30 AM ET.

In China, data released overnight showed third quarter gross domestic product grew at a 6.7% rate, within the range set by Beijing, while another set of data showed China's crude output fell 9.8% to 3.89 million bpd. China is both the world's second largest economy and consumer of oil.

At 9:00 AM ET, NYMEX November West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 73cts to $51.02 bbl, off a three-day high of $51.14, ahead of expiration at the end of regular session trade on Thursday (10/20). The December contract was up 71cts at $51.33.

The December Brent futures contract on IntercontinentalExchange gained 64cts to $52.32 bbl.

NYMEX November ULSD futures rallied 1.66cts to $1.5852 gallon, off a three-day high of $1.59, and November RBOB futures eased 0.12cts to $1.5045 gallon after inside trade.

Providing an additional boost to oil futures, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should be able to reach a final deal on Nov. 30 to curb production without getting bogged down by individual country output quotas, said OPEC Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general said, adding that Russia is expected to cooperate with OPEC in curtailing crude production.

OPEC pledged on Sept. 28 to limit production at a 32.5 to 33.0 million bpd range, but deferred implementation until final approval at their Nov. 30 summit in Vienna. OPEC crude production increased 220,000 bpd in September to average 33.39 million bpd, OPEC said last week, citing secondary sources.

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