Oil pulls back as supply disruption concerns ease

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Oil pump cylinders are seen at the Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

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SINGAPORE, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled across Asia on Thursday after gaining more than $1 in the previous session as concerns over supply disruptions eased and markets sought evidence of improved fuel demand.

Brent crude futures fell 18 cents, or 0.2%, to $97.22 a barrel at 0419 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 22 cents, or 0.2%, to $91.71.

Oil is struggling to find direction, suggesting investors haven’t reached a consensus on the supply and demand outlook, analysts at Haitong Futures said.

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U.S. crude oil inventories rose 5.5 million barrels in the most recent week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, more than the forecast increase of 73,000 barrels. Read more

Gasoline product supplied increased in the most recent week to 9.1 million barrels per day, although this figure still shows a 6% decline in demand over the past four weeks compared to the period of the previous year.

The premium for first-month WTI futures to loading barrels six months from now was set at $4.38 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest in four months, indicating an easing of tensions in rapid supplies .

The resumption of flows on the Russia-Europe Druzhba gas pipeline further eased market concerns about global supplies.

Russian state pipeline monopoly Transneft (TRNF_p.MM) has restarted oil flows through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline. Ukraine has suspended Russian pipeline flows to parts of central Europe since the start of this month because Western sanctions have prevented it from collecting transit fees from Moscow, Transneft said on Tuesday. Read more

Meanwhile, physical oil prices around the world began to decline along with futures, reflecting easing worries about supply disruptions from Russia and heightened worries about a possible global economic slowdown. Read more

Monthly oil reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are due later Thursday.

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Editing by Michael Perry and Jacqueline Wong

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Laura Sanicola

Thomson Reuters

Oil and energy reports, including refineries, markets and renewable fuels. Previously worked at Euromoney Institutional Investor and CNN.

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