US Crude Oil Inventories Have Fallen ~10.6% in 2017

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, with USA light crude hitting highs not seen since June 2015 after disruptions to a major pipeline dented Canadian deliveries to the United States, where crude inventories were also reported to be falling.

At the same time, speculation is rising that American drillers will put more rigs to work next year as oil strengthens.

According to the EIA, U.S. crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 13 cents to $59.51 a barrel this evening, a day after briefly touching $60 a barrel.

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Heavy crude oil price in the same period increased by 52 cents and surged to $61.01 per barrel.

Brent broke through $67 earlier this week for the first time since May 2015.

A Reuters monthly poll showed analysts expect Brent crude to stay close to $60 in 2018.

Trading was typically thin at year end, with many traders on vacation.

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"The key driver for the oil market this year has been that the OPEC and Russian production cuts were introduced, complied with and extended", said Ric Spooner, a Sydney-based analyst at CMC Markets.

U.S. output has surged overall this year, hitting a 46-year high in October when producers pumped 9.6 million barrels a day, according to federal data.

There are also expectations in the market that OPEC's next meeting on November 30 will agree to extend cuts beyond the current expiry date in March 2018. While gains were driven by glut-shrinking output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East as well as pipeline disruptions from the North Sea to Canada and Libya have also helped.

Libyan oil supplies were disrupted by an attack on a pipeline this week and flows towards the port of Es Sider were reduced by about 70,000 bpd today.

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