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Published: Sat, March 25, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Thai Oil buys first crude cargoes from Oman, US amid OPEC cuts


Global crude oil prices edged up, today, supported by a fall in Saudi exports to the United States.

Eleven non-OPEC oil producers that joined a global deal to reduce output to boost prices delivered 64% of promised cuts in February, an industry source said last Friday.

USA crude futures fell 34 cents on the day, settling at US$47.70 a barrel. Saudi Arabia is OPEC's largest producer.

Along with the note of cutting deliveries to the U.S., the Saudi's energy ministry also revealed data from the January and February deliveries; the official said that the influx of deliveries from those months are the results from the cargo loaded in November and December. In the week ended March 17, USA imports from Saudi Arabia unexpectedly rose by more than 200,000 bpd to 1.28 million bpd, after a sharp decline the prior week.

That was near double the 2.8 million inventory build expected, and left stockpiles at the highest level on record.

The current price of oil is slowly decreasing; it has been the main concern of OPEC countries for the past two weeks.

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Crude futures sustained a fourth straight day of losses amid fears record US crude inventories could offset The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) efforts to rebalance supply and demand.

Market participants turn attention to Baker Hughes rig count, due to be released on Friday at 14:00 EDT.

Crude stocks in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, were a record 533 million barrels last week after a bigger-than-expected 5 million barrel jump, the US Energy Information Administration said. In the week ended March 17, USA imports from Saudi Arabia unexpectedly rose by more than 200,000 bpd to 1.28 MMbpd, after a sharp decline the prior week.

Thai Oil has previously purchased the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude grade from USA for its refinery, paving the way for this purchase, one of the sources said.

It's also unclear how much Saudi oil found its way into China's strategic petroleum reserve, Lipow added.

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