Oil prices down with US output remaining at record high

ANKARA (AA): Oil prices were down around 1 percent at the start of Thursday’s trading as US crude production endured at a record high level to keep downward pressure on prices.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $60.77 per barrel at 0745 GMT with a 1.1 percent decline, after it ended Wednesday at $61.44 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was recorded as $51.75 a barrel at the same time marking a 0.8 percent loss, after closing the previous session at $52.17 per barrel. Both benchmarks gained more than 4 percent on Wednesday as the US and China concluding bilateral trade talks in Beijing that encouraged a positive outlook for the global economy and for oil demand.

Another reason behind the rise in oil prices was with the positive statement made in the US Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes that said the central bank could “afford to be patient about further policy firming.”

The dovish Fed minutes signaled the bank could make less rate hikes than anticipated, which would put a brake on the rise in the value of the American dollar. In turn, this would alleviate some of the pressure on crude prices that are indexed to the greenback.

The decline in weekly crude oil inventories in the US also contributed to the oil price rise on Wednesday. Commercial crude oil stocks in the country fell by 1.7 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 4, compared to the week before, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released on Wednesday.

However, the EIA data also revealed that crude oil production in the US remained at a record high level of 11.7 million barrels per day last week, which could put a downward pressure on prices. With US crude output remaining at record high levels, the glut of oil supply in the global oil market remains strong, pushing oil prices down.