Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled lower on Thursday as a bearish outlook on global oil demand for 2018 offset data showing U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell for the third-straight week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery fell by 70 cents to settle at $50.60 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 66 cents to trade at $56.28 a barrel.
Crude oil prices fell for the first time in three days as investors mulled over a mixed report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing crude stockpiles fell more than expected while gasoline supplies swelled.
Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 2.8m barrels in the week ended Oct. 6, handily beating expectations of a draw of 2m barrels.
Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, rose by roughly 2.5m barrels, confounding expectations of a draw of 480,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by about 1.5m barrels, missing expectations of a decline of 2.2m barrels.
The mixed report on inventories from the EIA came ahead of a monthly update from the International Agency Energy on Thursday suggesting that global demand for oil could come under pressure next year.
Demand for Opec oil would be 32.5 million barrels per day in 2018 — around 150,000 bpd lower than the group pumped last month, The International Energy Agency said on Thursday.
In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.
Rising U.S. output is expected to continue to cap upside in crude oil prices, as the EIA forecast total domestic production to average 9.9 million barrels a day in 2018, the highest annual average production in U.S. history.
“It will probably be hard for a well-supplied market…to move significantly higher from here,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.