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Oil prices drop as United States crude stocks improve

Oil prices drop as United States crude stocks improve

However, the IEA praised OPEC's efforts to rein in output and said its production had increased by only 10,000 barrels a day, adding that global supply had risen in September due to increased us production.

The International Energy Agency estimated in its monthly report on Thursday that the decline in inventories this year will halt in 2018 due to rising supplies from the US and elsewhere.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.09 a barrel, up 17 cents, or 0.33 percent, from their last settlement. Prices are up 4.4 percent this week.

China's overseas crude purchases averaged about 9.04 million barrels a day in September, up 13 percent from the previous month, according to Bloomberg calculations using General Administration of Customs data released Friday. In China, the world's second-biggest oil market, crude imports in September jumped to the second-highest on record.

"Our forecast of global demand growth remains unchanged at 1.6 million barrels per day in 2017, or 1.6 percent, and 1.4 million barrels per day in 2018, or 1.4 percent", said the report.

"We woke up with the strong data from China".

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Later on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. "That's on the supportive side", said Olivier Jakob, managing director of oil consultancy PetroMatrix.

Prices also gained amid tensions in Iraq between the central government and the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Tensions between the two, which traders fear could cut off oil exports from the region, have been building since Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly backed independence in a September 25 vote.

OPEC with other key oil-producing nations pledged to reduce production by 1.8 million barrels from the beginning of this year.

"OPEC-led cuts have breathed new life into oil bulls but unless the organization digs deeper, the drawdown in global oil stockpiles will soon fizzle out", broker PVM's Stephen Brennock wrote.

Many oil traders have said the reason OPEC has been compliant with the production cut agreement was because Saudi Arabia wanted the cuts to work to prop up oil prices ahead of the Aramco IPO.

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