Oil slips on API report of USA inventory rise


"Anything out of the State of the Union that hints at the U.S".

According to EIA, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.6 million barrels per day last week, which was 170,000 barrels more than the previous week's average.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russian Federation, agreed to production cuts effective from last month to beat back supply growth.

Some analysts, however, were relieved that US crude oil inventories rose by only 1.3 million barrels in the week to February 1, against expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels. "Because the number was a little disappointing, it played into the slowing demand scenario", said Phil Flynn, oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 13 cents at $53.53.

The oil price came under pressure earlier in the day following weekly data from the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday that showed an unwelcome increase in stocks of crude oil.

International Brent crude oil futures on Monday were down 20 cents, or 0.32 percent at 0339 GMT to $62.54 a barrel, after closing up 3.14 percent in the previous session to their highest close since November 21.

Saudi Arabia's exports to the U.S. finished 2018 at just 530,000 barrels per day, a massive drop from the 940,000 overage over the last five years.

"The fact that US crude oil and gasoline stocks rose more sharply than expected, as reported by the API after the close of trading yesterday, is weighing on prices", said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank.

The producers known as OPEC+ started cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from last month to avert a new supply glut, and OPEC has delivered nearly three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed last week. Venezuela, an OPEC member, is like Iran and Libya exempt from making voluntary curbs under the deal. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. Meanwhile US WTI crude rose to $55.53.

Global economic worries have weighed on market sentiment in recent days, offsetting support from signs that global supplies are tightening. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

The fund would receive income accrued by state-run oil firm PDVSA's U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum Corp since last month, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state, Carlos Paparoni said in an interview. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.