Brent crude touched $70 a barrel on Thursday, a level it last saw three years ago. That might start to look like a level where OPEC could say that its work to rebalance the market is done.
U.S. output has soared on the back of rising prices and will continue to rise. The monthly assessment for October was more than 400,000 barrels a day above the level derived from weekly data. The daily average for U.S. oil production will exceed 10 million barrels by February, four months sooner than the government forecast last month.
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After all, its output deal has done a pretty good job of draining surplus inventories. And U.S. oil stockpiles, including crude, refined products and the oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, have fallen by around 147 million barrels in the past 12 months and now stand just 23 million barrels above their five-year average, according to weekly government data.
The latest increase in the forecast of U.S. oil production is driven by rising shale oil output