Iran's Aug. Oil Price Up, Production Unchanged

Oil prices rise for 3rd straight session as IEA reports drop in global supply

The difference between the two benchmarks recently had widened to around $6 a barrel after Hurricane Harvey took several refiners in the US offline, but analysts said that USA crude is poised to close some of the gap as refiners ramp back up and exports from Gulf Coast ports resume.

Oil refineries in the U.S. are coming back online and increasing their demand for crude after several Hurricanes rampaged through the southern states and delayed refinery operations.

Global oil supply meanwhile fell in August by 720,000 b/d on unplanned outages and scheduled maintenance, mainly from countries outside of the Opec cartel, the IEA said.

The IEA also raised its forecast for growth in global oil demand after thirst for crude "grew very strongly year-on-year" in the second quarter of this year.

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WTI light sweet crude oil was up 40 cents at $49.84 a barrel, the highest in about a month.

Oil prices are expected to hold between $50 and $60 a barrel as bloated global stocks fall after a deal between OPEC and other producers to trim output, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Thursday.

EIA said that as supplies were disrupted, the East Coast drew down inventories of motor gasoline, falling by 2.2 million barrels, or 3.5 percent, compared to the previous week.

Nigeria and Libya are the only countries exempted from oil production cuts because both countries are experiencing instability in their oil sectors.

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The IEA revised upwards its estimate for demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 1.6m bpd, or 1.7%.

Futures jumped 1.2 per cent in NY, and closed just 11 cents shy of the US$50 mark. Growth is forecast to average 700,000 b/d in 2017 and almost 1.5 mb/d in 2018 as higher production from Canada and the North Sea offsets weaker United States and Brazilian estimates.

"The news was taken as confirmation of the prevalent supply tightening narrative, i.e. that the oil surplus is slowly disappearing", said Norbert Rucker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer. Talks will be held with other OPEC members about extending the cuts at an October 4 meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Moscow.

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