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Brent crude futures were up $1.42, or 2.1%, at $68.85 USA a barrel mid-morning Wednesday.

The price of United States crude oil has broken decisively above resistance from a downward-sloping trendline joining the highs touched on February 2 and February 26, suggesting that further gains are in prospect.

He pointed out in a note that "Spot Brent crude oil prices averaged $3.36 per barrel more than WTI prices in 2017 compared with just $0.40 per barrel more in 2016, providing a price incentive to export us crude oil into the worldwide market" - a scenario he says will cause headaches for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia, and their allies as they struggle to make headway in year two of their production cutback deal. Both are highly critical of Iran.

Looking at USA crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (March 4) showed rising crude oil stocks and falling gasoline inventories.

Futures rose 0.1 percent after climbing to the highest level in more than three weeks on Tuesday. Energy companies are said to have seized on the opening, exporting 1.1 million barrels per day to 37 countries in 2017. Only Russia produces more, at around 11 million. "And exports were up slightly", he said.

Brent Crude at 67.63 moved up after the API reports suggested a surprise draw of 2.739-M bbl of United States Crude Oil inventories for the week ending 6 March.




Oil also got a boost after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018.

A falling dollar.DXY versus a basket of other currencies makes commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies since they have to spend less to buy the same amount of the commodity.

Falls on global share markets helped cap gains.

The bullish report was somewhat tempered by USA crude production, which climbed to a fresh record of 10.4 million barrels per day in the week.

Energy consultancy FGE said it was likely that the United States would re-impose sanctions on Iran soon, resulting in a 250,000 to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) drop in its exports by year-end.

"We now have production above 10.4 million bpd and it's going to keep rising; and the market is eventually going to have to reckon with that", he said.


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