USA crude oil production increased steadily through 2017, reaching its highest level in more than three decades.
'OPEC's level of compliance (with agreed production curbs) and the pace of USA shale's output growth are likely to be the key fundamental price drivers in 2018, ' Ashley Petersen of Stratas Advisors said.
The market was also pressured by the rising dollar and stock markets, said Flynn.
The futures on United States crude oil WTI fell by 0.13 Dollars, or 0.20%, to 63.78 USD per barrel, and the Brent oil variety wiped out 0.17 USD, or 0.25%, to 67.12 USD per barrel. USA crude was down $1, or 1.6 percent, to $60.66 a barrel, after touching a low of $60.18.
"The recent rise in global benchmark prices has not been matched by higher prices for Western Canadian producers".
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.
The global oil market is rebalancing and the decline in inventories is expected to continue this year, Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih on Friday told reporters in New Delhi. And that means even minus 70 thousand barrels of oil on the market.
The lower freight costs afforded by the economies of scale of the VLCC cargo opens up the global market for US-produced crude oil.
The rapid decline in U.S. stockpiles and growing demand for crude from the country's booming shale fields are helping reassure the market that production cuts led by OPEC are working.
"It's a mixed market with both bearish and bullish signals", said Hong Sung Ki, a commodity trader at NH Investment & Securities Co.in Seoul.
"Production numbers and rig counts are just as important at this stage, particularly with U. As a result, the discount on the Canadian effective price vis-à-vis WTI has risen to over US$20 to date in early 2018, more than double its 2017 average (US$9.61)".
"We've got a lot more oil to produce and we'll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected", said Streible.
"In spite of refiners undergoing maintenance, they continue to process more crude compared to previous years adding to gasoline and diesel supply", said Andrew Lipow, president at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US futures USOICC=ECI fell 2.7 million barrels last week. According to a recent study by the EIA, under certain scenarios, total United States crude oil production could surpass 14M b/d by 2050.