U.S. oil production, which slipped for an 11th week, hit its lowest level since September 2014, further supporting the inventory drawdown. Crude production dipped 24,000 barrels per day to 8.77 million, but the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. remained unchanged at 318 last week, the least amount since October 2009.
“The market wants to see a sustained number of inventory declines before crossing the $50 inflection point,” Adam Wise, an asset manager at John Hancock, told Bloomberg. “The drop in the rig count is starting to be reflected in inventories.”
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Meanwhile, some of the world’s largest producers continue to pump crude at record levels, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintaining Saudi Arabia’s strategy of squeezing out high-cost competitors.
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United States Oil Fund