World Bank raises 2017 crude price forecast

Oil prices rallied on Wednesday, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an unexpectedly large U.S. oil inventory drawdown last week.

WTI crude hit its highest since July 2015 after the Energy Information Administration said USA stockpiles fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week ended Friday, dashing analysts' expectations for a build. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected a 2.5 million-barrel climb, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-futures-rise-as-sources-say-api-data-show-surprise-us-crude-supply-decline-2016-10-18) reported a decline of 3.8 million barrels.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were at $51.03 per barrel at 1100 GMT, down 57 cents from their last close.

Oil prices fell on Thursday on profit-taking, after markets rallied the previous day on another unseasonal draw in US crude oil stocks helping bullish sentiment from an expectation of an OPEC-led cut in production. In the previous week to Oct 7, stocks grew by 4.9 million barrels. During this time of year, refineries go into maintenance which causes a drop in demand because less crude is needed to produce gasoline and other fuel products.

Crude imports averaged 6.9 MMBPD, down 954,000 BPD from the previous week's average, EIA found.

Brent crude settled up 16, or 0.3 percent, at $51.68 a barrel.

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The price for Brent crude oil was up 0.9 percent to start the day in NY at $52 per barrel.

Saudi crude exports in August fell to 7.305 million barrels per day from 7.622 million bpd in July, data showed on Tuesday.

USA crude-oil stocks have now dropped 26.5 million barrels since the beginning of September, according to Troy Vincent, an analyst at ClipperData.

OPEC is working with non-member states on a proposal to curb, or possibly even cut, production levels in an effort to stimulate crude oil prices. A deal could lift prices as high as $60 by the end of this year, Saudi Arabia's Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

"So, while the headline number was bullish, we wouldn't call it extremely bullish given the large gasoline build", said Tariq Zahir, a trader in timespreads of WTI at Tyche Capital Advisors in NY. It's not demand that's keeping the market suppressed, he said, but the glut of oil on the market.

The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) traded up about 2.8% to $30.68, in a 52-week range of $20.46 to $32.78.


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