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Oil stable amid supply disruptions in Texas, potential OPEC + moves




SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The rise in oil prices stalled on Wednesday, as support for supply disruptions in the southern United States caused by an arctic explosion was offset by expectations that producers OPEC + could lighten their production after April.

Pumpjacks are seen at sunset at the Daqing Oil Field in Heilongjiang Province, China on August 22, 2019. Photo taken on August 22, 2019. REUTERS / Stringer / Files

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 3 cents to $ 60.02 per barrel at 5:10 a.m. GMT, falling from a 13-month high of $ 60.95 reached Tuesday.

Brent futures gained 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 63.46 a barrel, adding to three days of gains.

Oil prices have risen sharply in recent months and supply disruptions caused by a historic winter storm in Texas, the nation’s largest oil-producing state, have continued to keep prices strong, analysts said.

Analysts from ANZ and Citigroup have estimated that at least 2 million barrels per day (b / d) of shale oil production in the United States has been reduced. Citi estimated a cumulative production loss of about 16 million barrels through early March.

But extreme cold has also hit demand for crude due to disruptions in refining operations. The 112,229 barrel per day (bpd) Chevron Corps refinery in the Houston area in Pasadena, Texas was shut down on Tuesday, the company said.

Both oil futures plunged into trading early in the morning due to pressure from a stronger US dollar and a potential increase in output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies , known as OPEC +.

OPEC + oil producers are expected to ease supply after April given the rebound in prices, OPEC + sources told Reuters, though any increase in production is modest as producers fear further setbacks in the battle against the pandemic.

The voluntary reduction of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in Saudi Arabia ends next month. While Riyadh has not shared its plans beyond March with its OPEC + partners, the group increasingly expects Saudi Arabia to bring back supplies from April, may -be gradually.

The OPEC + group will meet to set policy on March 4.

Were in a technical sustaining pattern supported by lower fundamentals and capped highs ahead of OPEC’s March meeting, said Stephen Innes, Axi’s chief market strategist.

Data on US oil inventories from the American Petroleum Institute and Energy Information Administration (EIA) industry group will be released on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, delayed by a public holiday in the United States on Monday.

Analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude inventories fell 2.2 million barrels in the week to February 12.

Reporting by Sonali Paul and Shu Zhang; Edited by Shri Navaratnam and Richard Pullin

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