3minutos - Source: CNBC
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Prices were also capped by mixed signs for oil demand in China, the world’s biggest crude importer. Industrial output rose more slowly than expected in October, but oil refinery throughput hit the second-highest level on record.
Brent futures hovered around breakeven at $62.36 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 17 cents to trade at $56.95.
U.S. crude stockpiles grew last week by 2.2 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.649 million-barrel rise, the Energy Information Administration said.
The report was delayed a day for the U.S. Veterans Day holiday on Monday.
“U.S. production is still very robust. We might be over-producing a bit and leaving it sitting in the storage tanks,” said Ryan Kaup, a commodities broker at CHS Hedging. “The market is reacting a little bit negatively to the build as it’s not what it expected.”
OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Wednesday that there would likely be downward revisions of supply going into 2020, especially from U.S. shale.
Barkindo said it was too early to say whether further output cuts would be needed.
OPEC on Thursday pointed to a smaller surplus in the oil market next year although it still expects demand for its crude to drop as rivals pump more.
The drop in demand could press the case for the exporter group and partners like Russia to maintain supply curbs at a meeting on Dec. 5-6.
“The countdown to the meeting of the OPEC countries has started, and the question of whether the group and its allies will further cut supplies is top of mind,” said Norbert Rucker, head of economics at Swiss bank Julius Baer.
“Current market conditions are testing the petro-nations patience and cohesion ... Any major change in policy would come as a surprise.”