Bearish IEA Demand Outlook Could Pressure Prices

Angola falls back from leading oil production in Africa

Oil prices are expected to remain steady as the market rebalances in 2018

WTI light sweet crude oil fell 70 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $50.60/bbl.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday it expects U.S. crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected.

Yesterday the EIA said it expects US crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected.

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Crude prices gained in Asia on Friday with trade data from China supporting rising demand views as the market looks ahead to U.S data.

Brent also rose 2 percent the previous day.

A monthly oil report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted global demand will grow by 1.6m barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and 1.4m bpd in 2018.

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The market was still under pressure, though, from a bearish outlook by the International Energy Agency, which lowered its forecast for oil demand for 2018.

High U.S. production is pushing increasing volumes of U.S. crude into world markets, feeding inventories and undermining OPEC's efforts to tighten the market. The rebound in USA oil production this year, reversing an annual decline of around 550,000 b/d recorded in 2016 - the first drop after seven successive years of growth - has been a major factor eroding the impact of the 1.72 million b/d of production cuts pledged by 22 OPEC and non-OPEC producers in a bid to rebalance the market starting January, and now in effect until March 2018. But traders say supplies remain ample and OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018.

Figures released by the Energy Information Administration showed US commercial crude inventories fell by 2.8 million barrels to 462.2 million barrels in the week through October 6. The API data is released after market close in the West. Consensus expectations of analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts earlier in the week had pointed to a draw of about 400,000 barrels.

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