Crude Oil Gains In Asia As API Estimates Support – Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Wednesday after industry estimates painted an upbeat picture on U.S. crude and refined product figures.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 0.66% to $50.23 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.47% to $55.40 a barrel.

U.S. crude stocks rose a less than expected 1.4 million barrels at the end of last week, The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, while gasoline stocks fell 5.1 million barrels and distillates dropped 6.1 million barrels.

Analysts expected a 2.925 million barrels build in crude and a 2.025 million barrels decline in gasoline and a 1.175 million barrels fall in distillates.

On Wednesday, official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due. The API and EIA figures often diverge.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled lower on Tuesday as data expected to show U.S. crude stockpiles rose for the third straight week offset earlier optimism which followed comments from Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi on a possible extension to the Opec-led agreement to cut oil output.

Investor expectations that U.S. crude stockpiles are poised to rise for the third week in a row offset early gains which followed after Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said that Iraq and other OPEC members are considering options to its production-cut agreement, including an extension beyond March and a deeper output cut.

“All in all, the outlook seems to be bright and prices are rising,” al-Luaibi said during an industry event in the United Arab Emirates.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.

Also weighing on crude prices was a report from the Energy Information Agency on Monday, showing U.S. shale production is set to rise for the tenth straight month in October as the recent uptick in U.S. oil prices – above $50 a barrel – spurred drilling activity.

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