Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
Men work for Iraqi Drilling Company at Rumaila oilfield in Basra, Iraq,
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as U.S. crude production quickly approached an unprecedented 12 million barrels per day (bpd) just as worries about weakening demand emerge.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52 per barrel at 0140 GMT, down 31 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement.
International Brent crude oil futures were down 34 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $60.98 per barrel.
American crude oil production reached a record 11.9 million bpd in the week ending Jan. 11, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, up from 11.7 million bpd last week, which was already the highest national output in the world.
U.S. output has soared by 2.4 million bpd since January 2018, stoking fears of a supply glut.
The EIA also said gasoline stockpiles climbed 7.5 million barrels last week, far exceeding analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.8 million-barrel gain. At 255.6 million barrels, gasoline stocks were at their highest weekly level since February, 2017.
“While (U.S. crude) inventories fell slightly more than expected, there was a large build in gasoline inventories. This stoked fears of weak demand in the U.S.,” ANZ Bank said in a note.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.0 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.6 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.