Oil Higher in Midday Trade

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures were slightly higher across the board in midmorning trade after the Energy Information Administration reported a steep stock draw for U.S. crude oil and an unexpected decline in distillates supply, with crude exports at a record high near 2.0 million bpd during the week-ended Sept. 29.

The EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report issued at 10:30 AM ET detailed a 6.0 million bbl crude stock draw to 465.0 million bbl, falling for the fifth straight week. Total stocks are 0.9% lower than a year ago.

The EIA report was mixed on products however, detailing a better-than-expected 1.6 million bbl stock build for gasoline and a surprise 2.6 million bbl stock draw for distillates. Implied demand rose 261,000 bpd for distillates while falling 281,000 bpd for gasoline.

At 11:00 AM ET, NYMEX November West Texas Intermediate crude contract was up 4cts at $50.46 bbl, paring gains after posting a session high of $50.67. December Brent crude futures on the Intercontinental Exchange eased 5cts at $55.95 bbl. November ULSD futures edged 0.97cts higher to $1.7602 gallon and November RBOB futures were 1.43cts lower at $1.5798 gallon.

Earlier, the market came under pressure from the American Petroleum Institute's mixed weekly oil supply report released late Tuesday afternoon and the restart of Libya's Sharara oilfield after a two-day shutdown.

The downside was curbed after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was not opposed to the idea of extending their agreement with OPEC to cut production through to December 2018, and Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said OPEC members want to do everything necessary to stabilize oil market.

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