Oil prices slip on bets for bearish U.S. supply data By

© Reuters. Oil prices edge lower ahead of U.S. supply data – Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show a gain in U.S. gasoline inventories despite the peak summer driving season.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT). Analysts expect crude oil inventories dropped by around at the end of last week. If confirmed, it would mark the eighth weekly decline in a row.

Meanwhile, gasoline supplies are seen decreasing by and distillates are forecast to fall .

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories in the week ended August 18.

However, the API report also showed a gain of 1.4 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks rose by 2.0 million barrels.

There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.

The October contract was at $47.61 a barrel by 3:10AM ET (0710GMT), down 22 cents, or around 0.5%. Elsewhere, for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London dipped 23 cents, or about 0.4%, to $51.64 a barrel.

Oil prices ended higher , but gains were limited as the market weighed ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output and reduce a global glut.

OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

However, so far, the deal has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.

Libya’s Sharara oil field, the country’s largest, gradually restarted on Tuesday after a shutdown earlier this month due to a pipeline blockade. Output from the oilfield recently reached 280,000 barrels per day.

Elsewhere on Nymex, for September was little changed at around $1.580 a gallon, while September shed 0.8 cents, or 0.5%, to $1.583 a gallon.

for September delivery held steady at $2.941 per million British thermal units.

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