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Oil settles lower as US crude output up, China imports down

Oil prices settled slightly lower on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed rising domestic crude production, a surprise build in U.S. stockpiles and a decline in monthly Chinese crude imports, a triple blow that was offset somewhat by rising tensions in the Middle East.Brent futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $63.49 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 39 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $56.81 per barrel.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report that U.S. crude production rose to 9.620 million barrels per day during the week of Nov. 3, the highest weekly output on record according to federal energy data going back to 1983.
“The most notable thing in the EIA report was that production increased. We‘re on our way to set record crude oil production in 2018,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

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The current all-time high for average annual output was 9.637 million bpd in 1970, according to federal energy data.

The EIA also said crude stocks increased by 2.2 million barrels, shocking the market after analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 2.9 million-barrel draw and industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a decline of 1.6 million barrel.