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Oil up but IEA supply glut warning limits gains

A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield

Libya has lifted force majeure at some of its main ports and is resuming oil exports, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Thursday.

Futures were trading lower, then took a sharp leg down after the IEA released its closely watched monthly report. "Demand growth is slowing and supply is rising".

THE QUOTE: "Another nail in the coffin overnight, as both OPEC and the International Energy Agency, revised their oil demand figures for 2017 down", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

The anaemic outlook for refining throughput extends further amid downward revisions to our 2H16 forecast, the IEA said, adding that refinery runs in 2016 are set to grow at the lowest rate in a decade. It also reduced the 2017 forecast by about 200,000 barrels a day, with consumption increasing more slowly at 1.2 million barrels a day.

Crude inventories fell 559,000 barrels in the week ended September 9, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for an increase of 3.8 million barrels.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 were up 29 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $45.19 a barrel.

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OPEC and other oil producers meet in Algeria on September 26-28 to discuss a crude production freeze.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery shed $1.0 to $47.32 a barrel compared with the close on Monday.

Hopes for a sustained rebound in demand were dashed this week by fresh warnings a global supply glut would persist for longer than previously thought. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell $1.22, or 2.5 percent, to $47.10 a barrel in London. USA equity markets fell more than 1 percent, adding to the bearish sentiment.

The fall in crude inventories is against analysts expectations of an increase of 3.8 million barrels.

"The idea of an oil production freeze makes even less sense if demand falls apart while USA monetary stimulus is being removed at the same time", said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, a commodities-focused brokerage in Washington. Analysts and traders had expected the agency to report that crude stockpiles rose by 3.8 million barrels. Domestic oil output is closely watched for signs of how large spending cuts by oil companies will translate into lower production, helping shrink the crude oversupply. The trend may fuel speculation of a possible production freeze - aimed at supporting prices - being agreed between OPEC and non-OPEC member Russian Federation at a meeting in Algeria later this month.

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