Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, lost 4.4 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.5 million-barrel draw, according to the EIA report. At the same time, crude oil throughput rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million tonnes, implying a need for more imports.
United States output climbed by 12,000 barrels to 10.381 million barrels a day last week, the highest in weekly data going back to 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The exports were 21 percent lower than in January and 43 percent below the volume shipped in February of 2017.
This would lead to "a higher quarterly distribution throughout the year with a record-high level projected for the fourth quarter", OPEC said.
Paul Sheldon, associate director, S&P Global Platts Analytics' PIRA Energy Analytics, said Wednesday that the impact of any change to the Iran deal may be delayed until late this year or early next year as worldwide buyers could be given time to adjust.
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On Wednesday, the markets received some support when OPEC said that oil consumption was expected to grow by 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018.
Lack of investment and financing, mismanagement, sanctions, and a brain drain are among the causes of the steep decline, which has particularly affected shipments to the United States.
But for other oil exporters around the world, including fellow members of OPEC, the crisis in Venezuela's oil sector might be good news as they could produce more without leading to a drop in prices.
Earlier Wednesday, OPEC projected that US and other non-OPEC supply growth will outpace global demand growth in 2018, raising the risk of imbalance in the oil markets and lower crude prices.
Today's announcement marks the fourth consecutive month that OPEC has had to raise its expectations for supply growth from the USA and other producers.
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Tis the season to get long oil as the five years upward price trajectory between mid-March and April has been solid for at least the last five years.
Oil rigs in the USA fell for the first time in six weeks, dropping four sites in response to the recent sapping of crude price strength. It raised non-OPEC supply growth forecast by 260,000 barrels a day. A broader market slump initially drove prices lower, while surging American production and increasing inventories remain a challenge. The shockingly low level of new discoveries is the direct result of a dramatic fall in spending on exploration.
Prices also received some support from Rex Tillerson's ouster as USA secretary of state.
The US also announced Wednesday it was taking action at the World Trade Organization against Indian export subsidies.
This brings OPEC's view closer to that of the International Energy Agency, which expects a less rosy 2018 supply/demand balance. In February, the IEA estimated non-OPEC growth in 2018 to be 1.8 million barrels a day. Hamm has called EIA projections "just flat wrong" and warned that such high projections are distorting global oil prices.
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