NYMEX Oil Futures Mixed

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures were shallowly mixed bias Thursday morning as traders mull a mixed bag of weekly oil statistics showing higher crude supply and lower product reserves in the United States.

After four straight weeks of declines, crude stocks rebounded last week, increasing by 856,000 barrels (bbl) to 457.3 million bbl in the week-ended Oct. 20, Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.

Crude oil production also rebounded, rising 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9.507 million bpd last week and causing the spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices to increase to above $6.33 three-week high.

A wider trans-Atlantic arbitrage incentivizes U.S. producers to export more crude since global supply is tightening, said analysts.

"Crude production rose to just shy of the pre-hurricane levels and this is by far the biggest bearish factor across the complex," said analyst Kyle Cooper at IAF Advisors in Houston.

The products data were bullish however, with EIA showing an unexpected distillate stock draw last week of 5.2 million bbl to 129.2 million bbl while gasoline stocks fell by a more-than-expected 5.5 million bbl to 216.9 million bbl.

"A very bullish overall report with total petroleum inventory draw of 12.5 million barrels as another 300,000 bbl came out of the SPR. Total petroleum demand returned to over 20 million bpd," added Flynn.

The oil futures complex was supported also by recent comments from Saudi Arabia reiterating that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will do whatever it takes to end the global oil glut and keep the market in balance. A report on Wednesday said that Saudi Arabia and Russia seek to extend their agreement to limit oil production thru 2018.

At 9 a.m. EDT, NYMEX December West Texas Intermediate crude was up 6 cents at $52.124 bbl. December Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange eased 6 cents to $58.38 bbl, trading at a $6.14 premium to WTI. NYMEX November ULSD futures were little changed, down 0.02 cent at $1.8180 gallon. November RBOB futures dropped 1.97 cents to $1.7151 gallon.

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