Oil prices sink after International Energy Agency's outlook

Angola falls back from leading oil production in Africa

Oil prices are expected to remain steady as the market rebalances in 2018

WTI light sweet crude oil fell 70 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $50.60/bbl.

Oil prices slightly pared losses on Thursday after official government data showed US crude stocks fell, contradicting an earlier industry report that weighed on prices.

Yesterday the EIA said it expects USA crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected.

Crude oil prices fell for the first time in three days as investors mulled over a mixed report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing crude stockpiles fell more than expected while gasoline supplies swelled. Both benchmarks have risen more than 20 percent from their lows in June as world oil markets tightened.

Angola's production, based on direct communication, was 1.657 million barrels per day, a monthly drop of 23,000 barrels, with no data from Nigeria in this case.

Traders said they would look to US fuel inventory data on Wednesday and Thursday for indicators on price direction.

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The International Energy Agency said on Thursday demand for OPEC oil would be 32.5 million bpd next year - around 150,000 bpd lower than the group pumped last month.

For 2018, it forecast WTI $50.57-up 2% from the previous outlook.

Carsten Fritsch, commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said the tone of the IEA report was bearish because it suggested that demand for OPEC crude next year would not be sufficient to absorb all the available supplies.

USA crude inventories are still 13 percent above five-year averages headed into the busy winter season, despite efforts by OPEC to cut production.

A USA federal holiday on Monday delayed the release of weekly inventory numbers by a day.

This supports what I have been saying all along that prices are likely to remain rangebound until OPEC and other major producers vote to extend the production cuts beyond the May 2018 deadline and also decide to deepen those production cuts. Analysts had forecast a draw of 400,000 barrels.

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