Image: A worker walks past oil pipes at a refinery in Wuhan, Hubei province March 23, 2012.
USA crude oil inventories have fallen for eight consecutive weeks to the lowest level since the beginning of past year.
Crude oil prices reacted according to the “Rising wedge pattern“. Currently, prices trade nearby resistance line at $48.17.
Official government inventory data for last week will be released on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT).
An eighth consecutive weekly drop in USA crude supplies helped limit losses.
us crude futures dropped $1.27, or 2.6 percent, to $47.14 a barrel and Brent crude fell 89 cents a barrel, or 1.7 percent, to $51.68by 12:48 p.m. (1648 GMT).
Both contracts rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday, buoyed by potential output disruptions from the Gulf of Mexico storm Tropical Depression Harvey.
U.S. crude prices fell 2 percent on Thursday as Hurricane Harvey, forecast to come ashore as the strongest storm to hit the U.S. mainland in 12 years, threatened oil operations along the energy hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“While not a major storm, this will at least serve as a drill for refiners along the coast, in our view”. Earlier in the day an oil official said it was shut again hours after reopening on Tuesday following a three-day pipeline blockade.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation have pledged to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of output between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten supplies and prop up prices.
However, domestic crude production edged up by 26,000 barrels a day to 9.528 million last week, the highest level since July 2015. The pace at which producers have been adding drilling rigs to boost output has slowed to a crawl.
U.S gasoline futures RBc1, however, jumped 2.8 percent and gasoline cash prices in the Gulf Coast rose to the highest levels in nearly a year on fears of the hurricane and flooding damaging refineries.
Crude inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels in the week ending August 18, compared with analyst expectations for an decrease of 3.5 million barrels.