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crude oil

Oil prices fall as US crude production hits another record

Oil prices eased on Thursday, dragged down by rising output, although strong demand and a drop in U.S. fuel inventories provided the market with some support.

Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $76.46 per barrel at 0046 GMT, down 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.58 a barrel, down 6 cents from their last settlement.

Prices were pulled down by another rise in U.S. oil production , which hit a weekly record of 10.9 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
U.S. crude output has risen by almost 30 percent in the last two years, and it is now close to top global producer Russia, which produced 11.1 million bpd overall in the first two weeks of June.

But the rising output came amid strong demand, which traders said prevented crude prices from falling further.

U.S. consumption of gasoline in the United States rose to an historic high of 9.88 million bpd last week, according to the EIA.

In part because of strong demand, U.S. crude inventories fell by 4.1 million barrels in the week to June 8, to 432.4 million barrels.

Still, U.S. output is now above that of top exporter Saudi Arabia, which currently churns out slightly above 10 million bpd.

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