Oil futures were putting in a mixed performance Wednesday, with Brent crude edging lower and West Texas Intermediate in positive territory, as worries over global demand lingered.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery CLX19, +0.53% rose 25 cents, or 0.5%, to $53.06 a barrel, putting the U.S. benchmark on track to end a two-day skid. But the global benchmark, December Brent crude BRNZ19, +0.22%, was off 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $58.65 a barrel.
Analysts said concerns remain over the global economic outlook and the implications for oil demand after the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its forecast for global economic growth this year to 3%, the slowest pace since 2008.
Weekly U.S. petroleum supply data is delayed by a day this week because of Monday’s Columbus Day federal holiday. The American Petroleum Institute will release its report Wednesday, with official data from the Energy Information Administration due out Thursday, after the EIA’s weekly natural-gas supply figures. The EIA has reported weekly increases in crude stockpiles for four weeks in a row.
Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday also forecast U.S. shale oil production to rise 58,000 barrels a day in November to a record 8.971 million barrels a day.
The Permian Basin accounts for the bulk of the increase, with the region, at 4.61 million barrels a day, making up more than half of the total U.S. shale oil supply, noted Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.
“Excluding the U.S., only four countries in the world produce more (than the Permian) — namely Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and China. Thirty-five percent of all the crude oil produced in the U.S. already comes from the Permian Basin, and just shy of 70% of the crude oil produced in the U.S. is shale oil,” he said.
“There is no shortage of light low-sulphur oil, in other words, which is one reason why the WTI forward curve is back in contango at the front end,” Fritsch wrote, with November futures trading below December, and December trading below January.
In other energy trade, November gasoline RBX19, -0.15% fell 0.3% to $1.6096, while November heating oil HOX19, +0.57% rose 0.4% to $1.9175 a gallon. November natural-gas futures NGX19, +0.94% were up 0.9% at $2.36 per million British thermal units.