Oil turns positive as U.S. inventories seen lower

Oil turns positive as U.S. inventories seen lower

USA nonfarm payrolls rose in July but the US trade deficit recorded its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years in June as the boost to exports from soybean shipments faded and higher oil prices lifted the import bill.

A general view shows the Bangchak oil refinery in Bangkok, Thailand, October 3, 2017.

Brent crude futures were up 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $72.64 a barrel by 0055 GMT, after dropping 2.5 percent on Wednesday.

After the market closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported domestic crude oil inventories swelled by 5.6 million barrels last week, compared to a draw forecast by S&P Global Platts.

Oil prices went down on Friday amid rising supplies from countries including Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, prices sank when the USA government reported that in the prior week, total US inventories rose 3.8 million barrels, while supplies at Cushing fell 1.3 million barrels. USA crude oil production for the month of May stood at 10.442 million bpd, compared to 10.472 million bpd in April.

The decision has helped to put a lid on a price rally, with crude futures falling more than 7 percent since climbing above $80 a barrel in May.

The build would ease concerns about supply shortages from some members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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"Oil is holding up reasonably well".

Smith noted while it's highly unlikely India will absorb China's share of USA crude, "we could see other East Asian destinations, such as Taiwan and South Korea, also picking up some of the slack".

"Venezuela's ticking time bomb together with the return of Iran's oil industry to the sanctions era has all the makings for a major supply shock", Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note published Friday.

"At the moment, there is a mismatch in timing, where there is increasing OPEC supply and yet we're not seeing a significant reduction in Iranian supply", Patterson said.

US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an worldwide nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran has angered Tehran.

Worries about the possible loss of Iranian supply are being somewhat offset by concerns that global trade tensions could slow economic growth and crimp energy demand. China has said it will retaliate.

Concerns about demand from China also increased Friday as state oil major Sinopec cut its purchases of US crude.

The combination of crumbling Venezuelan oil production and the aggressive USA efforts to curtail Iranian exports is going to tighten the market.

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