Oil prices fall as U.S. crude inventories rise further

Oil prices fell on Friday after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing that the market is still struggling to ease oversupply despite many producers’ efforts to rein in production.

U.S. crude stocks USOILC=ECI rose by 564,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, though the increase was less than the 3.5 million barrels expected by analysts. [EIA/S]

The continued rise in U.S. inventories comes as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers have cut output.

The United States, which is not part of the deal, continues to ramp up production. Analysts at ING said they expect U.S. output to keep rising while prices remain strong enough to encourage further drilling.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 30 cents at $56.28 a barrel by 1149 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 dropped by 26 cents to $54.19.

“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.
more at:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil-idUSKBN163059

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