Crude-oil prices aimed for a sixth straight gain on Thursday, a day after U.S. data revealed a sizable weekly decline in domestic crude production, though paired with an unexpected rise in supplies.
Some analysts pointed out that the crude output decline is likely temporary given the effect of storm disruptions to activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Others pondered whether the slide in prices was at last putting at least a slight dent in the U.S. shale ramp up.
Meanwhile, prices for natural gas turned higher after U.S. government figures revealed a smaller-than-expected weekly climb in stockpiles of the fuel.
August West Texas Intermediate crude CLQ7, +0.20% added 62 cents, or 1.4%, to $45.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August delivery LCOQ7, +0.06% which expires at Friday’s settlement, rose 63 cents, or 1.3%, to $47.94 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Month to date, WTI and Brent have trimmed their sharp losses to a still substantial 6.2% and 4.3%, based on FactSet data tracking the most-active contracts.
Earlier this month, U.S. oil output rose to its highest level since August 2015. The resiliency and the increasing efficiency demonstrated by U.S. producers has largely foiled the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ effort to lower global inventories. Since January, when OPEC members and Russia began cutting output, oil prices have fallen 16% and the glut has remained.
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