Moody's raises medium-term price band forecast for crude oil

Oil prices stable after two-day decline, but rising US output drags

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If sanctions are reinstated, Iran's oil exports could drop by 250 000 to 500 000 barrels a day by the end of this year, FGE said in a note.

May Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was down 33 cents, or 0.5%, to $64.31 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. Expectations had been for a 2 million barrel build.

April West Texas Intermediate crude fell 34 cents, or 0.6%, to $60.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"We’re not pressuring the downside that much".

Iraq is talking with the Kurds and Turkey about restarting crude shipments from fields in the Kirkuk area of northern Iraq, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told reporters in Basra.

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OPEC said in its monthly report that supply from non-members is likely to grow by 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, nearly double the growth it predicted in November, largely due to rising USA supply. At the same time, crude oil throughput rose 7.3% to 93.4 million tonnes, implying a need for more imports.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.4 million barrels per day, up by 3.2 percent from the same period previous year.

China's industrial output grew 7.2 per cent in the first two months of the year compared with the same period last year, beating expectations of a 6.1 per cent hike.

Oil may also soon get some support from seasonal demand.

Iran is pushing for prices at $60 a barrel, where Mr. Zanganeh says USA oil production will remain under control and not flood the market.

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"Prices in the upper half of the oil price-band will encourage increased supply as U.S. production grows and countries reduce compliance with their production quotas", said Terry Marshall, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

While it was widely expected that OPEC's production in February would be well below the implied combined ceiling of about 32.73 million bpd, analysts and players were eager to see how low the oil production of crisis-stricken Venezuela dipped last month.

A multitude of factors were weighing on oil prices, but one factor stands out among the rest, and that's the steadfast climb of United States crude oil production, which for the week ending March 2 increased again, coming in at 10.369 million bpd-close to the 10.7 million bpd figure that the EIA suspects we will see in 2018.

U.S. crude production has soared by nearly a quarter since mid-2016 to 10.37 million bpd, overtaking output by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

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