Global Oil Production Raises As Saudi Arabia Pumps More

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.86 per barrel at 1321 GMT, down 10 cents from their last settlement, while Brent crude futures were at $73.55 per barrel, up 10 cents from their last close.

Prices had tumbled to a six-week.

Saudi Arabia's oil production grew by 230,000 barrels a day in July to 10.65 million barrels a day, just shy of an all-time peak reached in 2016, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.

The oil market is set to tighten further before the end of this year - a sign that OPEC's early response to boost supply may not be enough to offset a significant (possibly 1 million bpd barrel) loss of crude oil supply from Iran, Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets global head of commodity strategy, told CNBC on Friday.

Analysts said the latest news suggested that the market would be less tight than expected, which weighed on the oil prices lately.

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Futures in NY dropped 1.6 percent on Wednesday.

Prices of the barrel of the West Texas Intermediate are trading on a soft note today after the EIA reported the USA crude oil inventories went up by 3.803 million barrels during the week ended on July 27, more than initial forecasts suggested.

EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) from July forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.8 million bpd this year, up from 9.4 million bpd in 2017.

According to two officials, the US hasn't been able to persuade China to reduce Iranian oil purchases, but Beijing has reportedly agreed not to increase its oil imports from Iran, Bloomberg reports.

American oil production in May actually inched down from April by 0.3 percent, according to EIA's Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production report.

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The higher supplies from OPEC and Russian Federation are contributing to growing signs of a new glut in the oil market and that is adding to concern a trade war between the USA and China could curb economic growth and limit energy demand, which drove crude to the biggest decline in two years last month.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.3 million barrels, EIA said.

On Tuesday, data released by the American Petroleum Institute showed USA crude stockpiles to have risen by 5.59 million barrels in the week, compared to analyst expectations for a 2.8 million-barrel drawdown. Total volume traded was about 23 percent below the 100-day average.

"Under different scenarios, Iranian supplies could drop as much as 0.8 million barrels per day".

Whiting Petroleum Corp. gave up some of this year's stellar gains after reporting lower-than-estimated crude production for the second quarter.

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