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Sunday, November 28, 2021

U.S. crude edges up after 6-1/2-year low, expiring Brent dips

* U.S (Other OTC: UBGXF – news) . adds two oil drilling rigs this week – Baker Hughes

* North Dakota crude production rises in June

* U.S. crude drops to lowest since March 2009 intraday

* Brent crude September contract expires on Friday (Adds Baker Hughes rig count data, updates prices)

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil edged higher after posting a fresh 6-1/2-year low early on Friday amid concerns over global oversupply, while Brent futures slipped as the front-month September contract approached expiration.

Data showing North Dakota crude oil production rose a second straight month in June helped pull U.S. crude off its session high, along with the stronger dollar and weaker-than-expected consumer sentiment.

“Producers don’t seem to want to blink,” said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, commenting on the North Dakota data.

U.S. producers added two oil rigs this week, a fourth straight week with additions, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said in its weekly report.

U.S. crude bounced early off a fresh 2015 low and then received a lift from data showing U.S. producer prices rose for a third straight month in July.

U.S. September crude was up 29 cents at $ 42.52 a barrel at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT), after reaching $ 42.96 and having fallen to $ 41.35, the lowest front-month price since March 2009.

Expiring Brent September crude was down 17 cents at $ 49.05, having traded from $ 48.80 to $ 49.52. Brent prices remain well above the 2015 low of $ 45.19 from January, despite its recent slide. Brent October crude also fell.

U.S. crude futures were on pace to post a 3 percent loss for the week, a seventh straight weekly drop, as refinery outages and bulging inventories amplified concerns about a global supply glut. Brent was on pace to post a small gain after six weeks of losses.

U.S. crude has been under pressure this week because of refinery shutdowns dampening oil demand. The largest of those refineries, BP’s 413,500-barrels-per-day (bpd) facility in Whiting, Indiana, shut two-thirds of its capacity for repairs that could last a month or more.

Commerzbank (Xetra: CBK100 – news) analyst Carsten Fritsch said he did not expect an accelerated drop in prices, but rather “a slow grind lower” as long as the Whiting refinery was out of service.

The U.S. refinery problems come as the seasonal autumn refinery maintenance approaches at the end of the summer driving season.

Brent felt pressure from weak economic growth data from Europe and both crude contracts have been weighed down by concerns about No. 2 oil consumer China’s sputtering growth.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB – news) said a weaker Chinese currency was putting downward pressure on all commodity markets, signalling a turn for the worse for global economic conditions. (Additional reporting by Lisa Barrington in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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