Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude have averaged $2.24 a barrel below global marker Brent this year, making US oil more attractive to refiners around the world. West Texas Intermediate futures (the domestic benchmark) are trading below the worldwide Brent standard by $2 per barrel or more, and are now cheaper than some Middle Eastern grades of lesser quality.
"Dancing contango is now not a profitable thing to do, so we've sold out", said one oil trading manager who, until recently, held crude stored in a tanker. Prices yesterday rose 86 cents to close at US$54.45, the highest settlement since July 2, 2015.
Iran said on Thursday an increase in oil prices to more than $55 per barrel was not in the interest of OPEC as it would lead to a rise in output by non-OPEC producers. That compares to a $3.76 premium a year ago.
"The sharp decline in the pace of builds was driven by lower imports", said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst Energy Aspects in London.
Iraqi Forces Face Stiff Resistance as Mosul Push Continues
IS militants deployed at least 10 suicide vehicle bombs, but only one of them reached its target. The family chose to take their animals with them and had to use duct tape to keep them quiet.
Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest USA storage hub and the delivery point for WTI, dropped by 1.53 million barrels, the steepest decline since October of previous year.
A group of 20 oil producers, including members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have reduced their production in the past month in line with a landmark output cut agreement signed previous year.
OPEC and producers including Russian Federation aim to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to drain an oversupply that has kept prices depressed for more than two years. Prices have since moved upward, but growing supplies from the U.S.is hindering them from breaching the $60 a barrel mark.
"OPEC is determined to reduce its production to help manage the market", he said.
Warren Buffett rips hedge funds for 'huge' fees, defends immigration
Operating profit fell 6 percent to $4.38 billion, or $2,665 per share, from $4.67 billion, or $2,843 per share. Buffett said Jain has created "tens of billions of dollars of value" since joining Berkshire in 1986.
It remains to be seen how much longer the members will remain compliant under the looming threat of USA oil.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for March -the benchmark gasoline contract-fell 1.38 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $1.5148 a gallon.
However, exports from the United States, which is not part of the deal, hit a record high of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) last week and production rose to above 9 million bpd, the highest since April, the U.S. Energy Administration Agency said. Still, in Cushing, inventories fell by more than 1.5 million barrels, its largest draw since October.
Police announce deadly VX nerve agent found on Kim Jong-nam's body
The VX nerve agent is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations chemical Weapons Convention , BBC reports . Vietnamese officials also met with their national but declined to comment.