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American crude oil stockpiles are predicted to go down by 2 million barrels ahead of the Energy Information Administration's weekly report that is due to be published on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 27 cents, or 0.41 percent, at $66.11 per barrel.

The strength of the greenback has an inverse relationship to the price of crude oil. “Crude stocks drew due to sharply lower crude imports and near-record refinery crude runs.”.

USA investment bank Jefferies said on Friday there was an emerging "lack of demand" for crude oil and refined products.

The American Petroleum Institute reported after the close of trading Tuesday that USA crude oil inventories declined 5.17 million barrels last week.

Nearly 60 percent of the 6.4 million new barrels of oil pumped every day between now and 2023 will come from the United States, according to the IEA.

USA commercial crude oil inventories C-STK-T-EIA fell 5.8 million barrels last week, the EIA said on Wednesday, more than three times forecasts.

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In May, the difference between crude oil exports and imports increased even further, to 470,000 barrels per day.

Two major geopolitical events have been affecting the volatility of oil prices: US President Donald Trump is sticking to his pledge to cut off Iran from the rest of the world with economic sanctions, squeezing the country's energy trade.

But prices have come down since then in the wake of plans by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partner producers like Russian Federation to begin ramping up crude output after more than a year of holding back production.

"The Iran issue continues to occupy traders' minds", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

"The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela)".

Still, a trade standoff between the United States and China that could imperil global economic growth and weaken energy demand continues to weigh on crude prices after negotiations in Washington this week failed to progress.

Worries that Mexico's incoming administration would not strike a bilateral agreement over NAFTA with the USA also weighed on the market, traders said.


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