By Sara Israfilbayova
World oil prices rise on Thursday after the fall in the U.S. Energy Department data on a significant increase in gasoline stocks in the U.S. last week.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, are at $61.49 a barrel, up 0.44 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $56.18 a barrel, up 0.4 percent from their last settlement, according to RIA Novosti.
“WTI prices cratered despite a drop in weekly crude inventories ... Traders were more concerned about the steep rise in gasoline inventories,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
The U.S. Energy Department reported on December 6 that by the end of the week to December 1, gasoline reserves in the country increased by 6.8 million barrels, or 3.2 percent - to 220.9 million barrels.
Analysts had expected the growth rate of 1.741 million barrels, that is, the forecast was almost four times less than the actual figure. After the release of these data, oil prices fell by 2.5-3 percent.
At the same time, commercial oil reserves in the U.S. (excluding the strategic reserve) for the week decreased by 5.6 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 448.1 million barrels. Experts expected a decrease of only 3.4 million barrels. Oil reserves at the country's largest terminal in Cushing decreased by 2.7 million barrels, amounting to 55.6 million barrels.
In December 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices. OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.
Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce oil output by 558,000 barrels per day, including Russia by 300,000 barrels per day, starting from January 1, 2017 for six months, extendable for another six months.
OPEC and its allies reached an agreement on prolongation of the deal until the end of 2018 on November 30 in Vienna.
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