Oil Higher in Midday Trade

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures reversed higher after the Energy Information Administration issued mixed statistics showing U.S. crude oil supply fell last week as refiners boosted utilization rates, but refined products stocks unexpectedly rose amid lower implied demand.

The EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report for the week-ended Nov. 24 detailed a 3.4 million bbl crude stock draw, just shy of estimates for a 3.75 million bbl decline. Refinery runs surged 1.3% to a 92.6% rate of operable capacity.

The stock draw data point was bullish compared to the 1.8 million bbl build reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute.

Domestic crude oil production increased again last week, WPSR showed, rising 24,000 bpd to a fresh 46-year high of 9.682 million bpd, and up 983,000 bpd versus a year earlier.

On products, the report showed gasoline and distillate stockpiles increased by 3.6 million bbl and 2.7 million bbl, respectively. Implied demand tumbled by 871,000 bpd and 175,000 bpd for gasoline and distillates, respectively.

At 10:50 AM ET, NYMEX January West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were 23cts higher at $58.22 bbl. January Brent crude gained 32cts to $63.93 bbl on the Intercontinental Exchange in front of its expiration Thursday (11/30). The February Brent contract was 21cts higher at $63.45 bbl.

In products trade, NYMEX December ULSD futures nudged up 0.19cts to $1.9526 gallon, with January contract up 0.20cts at $1.9549 gallon. December RBOB futures was fractionally up at $1.7725 gallon, with the January contract nudging up 0.15cts to $1.7703 gallon.

The NYMEX December RBOB and ULSD futures contracts will expire Thursday afternoon.

The market now awaits Thursday's meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum of Exporting Countries and their non-OPEC producer partners in Vienna, with expectations building for the producers to extend their current 1.8 million bpd in supply cutbacks through December 2018.

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