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However, recent media reports say the government is contemplating to suspend these refiners' rights to export products such as gasoline and diesel starting next year. This bunch is more of an optimistic one; the conservative forecasts predict $49 per barrel for 2017, $52 for 2018, $55 for 2019, and $58 per barrel for 2020. A jump in imports led to the surprise stockpile build with the world's biggest oil consumer.

The price of Brent Crude rose to $54.50 a barrel today despite Libya threatening to increase its output by 270,000 bpd over the next few months and an unexpected increase in United States crude inventories. Overall volume for front-month crude futures was about 350,000 contracts, less than two-thirds of the total daily average over the last 200 days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Meanwhile, Brent futures were stable in Asian and Middle East trading, up 10 cents from the previous day's close at $54.59 a barrel.

But the fall was curbed by a weaker dollar and optimism that crude producers would abide by an agreement to limit output to prop up markets.

Russia's oil production is higher this year than last year, but will decline starting January 1, 2017. Analysts were looking for a 2.5 million barrel draw down. The second successive weekly decrease in distillate fuel stocks could be attributed to higher demand and lower imports. On May 27, 2016, prices hit $1.64 per gallon-the highest level since August 2015.

Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization was 91.5% for the week. The cartel's spotty record for adhering to production quotas is casting doubts over whether the cuts will fully materialize after they begin in January.

But the IEA also warned that the oil market outlook remains uncertain in the longer term.


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