Oil prices fell on Wednesday as USA stockpiles of crude and gasoline increased, putting further pressure on futures after industrial activity in some global major crude-consuming nations has softened.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude were down 53 cents at $62.49 U.S. a barrel.
Gasoline stocks rose by 2.5 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 190,000-barrel drop.
On Tuesday afternoon, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, two major oil price benchmarks, went down by 1.89 percent and 1.52 percent to 62.70 US dollars and 66.27 dollars a barrel respectively.
Brent crude rose 19 cents to settle at US$67.50 a barrel. Brent, the global benchmark, lost 87 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.63 a barrel.
According to JBC Energy GmbH, new projects in the North Sea coming on stream this year will increase the U.K.'s crude output above 1 million barrels a day, and that on a net trade basis this amount will soon allow overseas sales to overtake imports.
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Prices resumed their downward path after that report, in which the EIA also revised its November crude production figures upward to a record 10.057 million bpd.
Next half of the year will pull up the oil market again, says Joel Hancock, an analyst of Natixis.
Oil fell more than 1 percent on Thursday, hitting two-week lows on pressure from a strong dollar and worries that surging USA crude output might thwart OPEC's efforts to drain global supply.
Market participants were expecting a build in United States oil stocks of around 2.1 million barrels, according to an S&P Global Platts preview of the EIA oil stocks data. However, inventories are forecast to have risen by 2.7 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. The most active USA gasoline futures RBc2 fell as much as 3.1 percent to $1.9354 a gallon.
Futures in NY slid as much as 0.4% after closing at a three-week high on Monday as an advance in equities revived optimism about economic growth and Libya's crude exports from a key terminal were impeded.
Finally, the recent startup of the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which is the only port capable of handling the oil industry's largest oil tankers, has raised expectations of a flood of USA oil reaching the global market. A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.