Oil prices fall as US crude inventories rise further

Continued rise in US inventories comes as Opec, other producers have cut output

London: Oil prices fell on Friday after US crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing the market is still struggling to ease oversupply despite many producers' efforts to rein in output.

US crude stocks rose by 564,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), although the gain was below analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.5 million barrels.

The continued rise in US inventories comes as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers have cut output.

Their joint compliance with a production-reduction deal reached at the end of last year was around 86 percent in January, according to OPEC sources quoting results from a technical committee meeting held this week.

The United States, which is not part of the deal, continues to ramp up production. Analysts at ING said they expected US output to keep rising as prices remained strong enough to encourage further drilling.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 48 cents at $56.10 a barrel at 0908 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate CLc1 traded at $54.06 a barrel, down 39 cents.

"Prices continue to retreat on repeated failure to rise above the upper end of their trading ranges and yesterday's inventory data also weighs," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

However, signs have started to...

Source: gulfnews.com