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By Henning Gloystein
Support on Wednesday came from a report that U.S. crude inventories are not rising as much as expected during the spring season that is starting, implying healthy demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures
Brent crude futures
U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 9, to 428 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. That compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels.
Refinery crude runs rose by 85,000 barrels per day (bpd), API data showed. [nZXN049100]
Despite this, general market conditions remain weak, and crude prices have not managed to return to their early 2018 highs of over $70 per barrel for Brent and almost $67 a barrel for WTI.
U.S. crude production, pushed up largely by shale oil drilling, is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). [nL4N1QH2BK]
Outside the United States, Libya's Zawiya oil terminal returned to normal operations late on Tuesday after workers who were blocking ships from docking agreed to end a one-day strike, two sources said.
Zawiya exports crude from Libya's giant El Sharara oilfield, which produces 300,000 bpd, more than a quarter of the North African country's output.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)