U.S. crude oil refinery inputs decrease last week

Lease Operator Jon Pearson checks well pressure on a lease owned by Parsley Energy in the Permian Basin near Midland

Futures were on track for a third straight week of gains, with Brent crude up $1.41 to $62.59 a barrel, or 2.3 percent, at 1:19 p.m. EST (1819) GMT. After reaching its highest level in more than two years, an index tracking West Texas Intermediate crude options prices has sunk to the lowest since November.

While crude oil market saw highly active week so far, there is no visible change in actual price action. After closing out 2018 in free-fall, USA crude prices have rebounded more than 18 percent to start this year.

OPEC members along with allies including Russian Federation agreed in early December to trim production by 1.2 mbd from January 1, in a bid to eliminate a production glut and shore up prices.

U.S. crude oil field production increased during the week ending January 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

EIA expects global oil production growth in 2019 to be led by countries that are not part of OPEC, particularly the United States. Strengthening confidence in OPEC and its allies' ability to do whatever it takes to keep the markets balanced, and in a de-escalation of the trade war between China and the United States, rendered support to fuel indexes as well.

For now, IEA retains its view that demand growth in 2018 was 1.3 mb/d, and this year it will be slightly higher at 1.4 mb/d, mainly due to average prices being below year-ago levels.

Major Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc in Northeastern U.S.
Travel was treacherous throughout the region but far fewer people were on the highways because the storm fell on a weekend. As ice accumulated on trees and power lines Sunday, utilities in CT reported more than 20,000 customers without power.

A separate report from China's National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed crude oil refinery throughput in 2018 climbed to a record 12.1 million barrels per day (bpd), up 6.8 percent from the previous year. That's an area that of course attract a lot of attention but we are also in the process of building an inverse head and shoulders, which could measure for a move to the $66 area.

Oil prices declined on Thursday as investors continued to worry about a global glut, which is fueled by rising US crude output.

"Now that we're three weeks into January and the production cuts are starting to bite, it's a strong signal for shorts to cover", said Chris Kettenmann, chief energy strategist at Macro Risk Advisors LLC.

Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday as concerns over global economic growth stoked fears over future demand.

Still, Saal said, investors had already expected increasing US production and priced it into the market, "so that's why prices are down a little bit and not down a lot". Net imports are expected to continue to fall, to an average of 1.1 million bpd this year, and to less than 100,000 bpd in 2020.

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