Oil Prices Rise on Signs of U.S. Production Dip

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after signs of a dip in U.S. production, but gains were capped by Chinese quarterly growth slowing to a six-year low.  Front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading up 47 cents at $58.90 a barrel by 0310 GMT, while U.S. crude CLc1 was up 28 cents at $53.57.

In the United States, North Dakota’s February oil production fell 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) versus January, although the number of producing wells hit a record high.  This followed a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report forecasting U.S. shale production would fall by 45,000 bpd to 4.98 million bpd in May, which would be the first monthly decline in four years.

Analysts said the U.S. figures were pushing prices up. “We expect Brent Jun’15 and WTI Jun’15 to end today breaking resistance of $60.3 and $55.34 (per barrel),” Phillip Futures said.  But the slowing Chinese economy prevented prices from rising further.