Oil Lower in Thursday Trade

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures moved mostly down Thursday morning after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Thursday morning revised up its oil supply forecast for non-OPEC producers.

In its Monthly Oil Market Report for January released today, non-OPEC supply is projected to increase 1.15 million bpd year-on-year in 2018, an upward adjustment of 160,000 bpd from their estimates in December.

The adjustment was spurred by revisions in expected production by the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, although there were also downward revisions to anticipated production rates for Norway and Argentina. The adjustments set expected non-OPEC oil supply this year at 58.94 million bpd.

Based on secondary sources, OPEC production in December increased by 42,000 bpd to average 32.42 million bpd, said the report. The output boost comes despite lower production by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Venezuela.

Nigerian production rose 76,000 bpd to 1.861 million bpd in December, the OPEC report showed. A militant group in that West African nation on Wednesday threatened to attack oil facilities in the coming weeks, lending upside support for oil futures midweek.

OPEC said 2018 oil demand growth is anticipated to be around 1.53 million bpd, following a marginal upward adjustment compared to last month's report, with global oil demand now expected to reach 98.51 million bpd.

Domestically, the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported a 5.1 million bbl U.S. crude stock draw during the week-ended Jan. 12, surpassing an expected 3.75 million bbl stock draw, with crude supply at the Cushing hub in Oklahoma down 3.9 million bbl, more than an expected draw of 2.0 million bbl.

On products, the API showed gasoline supply increased by 1.8 million bbl, more than an expected rise of 1.25 million bbl. Distillate supply rose 61,000 bbl instead of an expected stock draw of 1.0 million bbl.

The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly oil report at 11:00 AM ET.

In early trade, NYMEX February West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were 18cts lower at $63.79 bbl. Intercontinental Exchange March Brent crude futures were 34cts higher at $69.04 bbl.

NYMEX February ULSD futures declined 1.62cts to $2.0529 gallon while February RBOB futures were little changed at $1.8590 gallon, moving off a fresh 4-1/2 month high on the spot continuation chart of $1.8764.

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