Oil rally pauses on signs United States crude tanks start to fill again

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That was below analyst estimates for a drop of 1.6 million barrels in an economists' poll, but the report eased traders' worries after industry data released on Tuesday suggested that stocks rose by 4.8 million barrels.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.79 a barrel at 0749 GMT, down 17 cents from their last close.

Meanwhile, the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude price was up 0.64 per cent at $63.95 a barrel and Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 0.54 per cent to $69.40 a barrel.

Futures gained as much as 1.3% in NY.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels last week, short of expectations, but the 10-week streak of declines represents a record, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data going back to 1982. The settlement marked the highest closing level since December 5, 2014. The Energy Information Administration also revealed that over the last month, crude oil imports averaged 7.9 million barrels per day, 2.5% less than the same month a year ago. However, oil got a boost starting later that year when OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, voted to slash production in order to increase demand.

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Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, tells CNBC in Davos he's not convinced that the oil market has returned to balance, despite rising prices. Gasoline inventories increased by 3.1 million barrels last week, compared to the 2.5-millino barrels expected.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, said he is not concerned about the threat of USA production, citing declining output from Venezuela and Mexico.

The research firm equally forecasts global net supply growth (for crude, condensates and natural gas liquids) of 1.27mn b/d for 2018 on an annual average basis, putting USA shale growth, to which both OPEC and prices are more sensitive, at 390,000b/d y-o-y.

This is anticipated to come on the back of continued capacity cuts by OPEC, improving global demand, and falling crude oil inventory levels in the USA, all of which have contributed to the positive sentiment along with events of one-off supply disruptions and heightened geopolitical risks.

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