Oil Jumps After US Gasoline Stockpiles Plunge to 22-Month Low

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U.S. crude stockpiles rose to 472.8 million barrels last week, while inventories at the crucial trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed to the highest since June and crude production increased for a second straight week.

This comes despite OPEC's decision in January to cut oil production by 1.8 million bpd at least until March 2018, a cut made in conjunction with along with major oil producer Russian Federation.

OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russian Federation, agreed late previous year to cap production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels; part of an effort to alleviate the global oil glut and boost prices. Some U.S. refiners are delaying maintenance to take advantage of strong margins.

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Oil markets held largely steady on Tuesday, even as OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq pointed to a reduction in supplies in line with efforts to tighten the market and prop up prices. Earlier this week, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said he and ministers from other oil-producing nations think production should be reduced by an additional one per cent.

Brent crude futures climbed 22 cents to $55.37 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 33 cents to reach $49.78, reported Reuters.

US crude futures climbed 1.2% to $50.09 a barrel, and Brent rose 1.2% to $55.80 per barrel.

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Market players were looking ahead to a meeting Friday between OPEC and other producers regarding a possible extension by more than three months of oil production cuts that expire in March 2018. Total volume traded was about 39 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent crude futures (), the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.58 a barrel, down 4 cents but still not far off the nearly five-month high of $55.99 from late last week.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, reportedly said Tuesday that USA crude inventories had risen by 1.4 million barrels in the week ended September 15.

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Global crude oil prices slipped slightly Monday but stayed close to multimonth highs as traders braced for a potential stockpile build, expected later this week.

Gasoline stocks fell 2.1 million barrels, in line with analysts' expectations while distillate stocks inventories fell 5.7 million barrels, the biggest weekly draw since November 2011.

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