Oil prices up 1 percent on supply outlook

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LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose about 1 percent on Wednesday as U.S. crude stocks fell and official data indicated slowing growth in U.S. shale oil output in the coming years.

FILE PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub in Oklahoma, U.S., March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

International Brent crude oil futures were up 67 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $62.17 a barrel by 1230 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 51 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $53.52.

Crude prices had fallen 2 percent on Tuesday as financial markets reeled from concerns over the global economy, pushing investors towards safe-haven assets such as government bonds or gold.

However, oil prices have been supported by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to rein in an emerging supply glut.

Whether OPEC’s efforts will be successful depend in part on the development of oil production in the United States, where output jumped by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to an unprecedented 11.9 million bpd.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that it expected shale output to rise further, it said that production growth would slow in the coming years.

U.S. crude oil inventories are also expected to have fallen last week, for a third weekly decline, a Reuters poll of analysts shows.

“Market participants are also looking ahead to the weekly petroleum inventories report from the U.S., which is expected to show a drawdown in the country’s commercial crude oil stocks,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.

The weekly report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, is expected later on Wednesday.

However, a widespread economic slowdown is expected to dent growth in demand for fuel, weighing on energy prices.

A litany of poor economic data worldwide sapped Asian markets, though some optimism emerged as China and Japan said they would use fiscal spending to boost growth.

Chinese finance ministry officials on Wednesday said that the government would step up spending to support its economy, which last year registered its lowest growth rate since 1990.

The Bank of Japan said it would keep the ultra-easy monetary settings that have been running since 2013.

(Graphic: U.S. oil production growth – tmsnrt.rs/2AZSnDc)

Reporting by Noah Browning; Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by David Goodman

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