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Oil fell on Wednesday, under pressure from a potential increase in oil cartel Opec crude output to cool the market's recent rally and cover any shortfalls in supply from Iran and Venezuela.

West Texas Intermediate for July delivery slid 70 cents to $71.14/bbl at 11:05 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Additionally, senator Lisa Murkowski, a republican who chairs the U.S. Energy Committee, said that while "OPEC's supply restrictions are higher and should be better.I'm stunned to hear my colleagues encouraging more production from the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia, rather than right here in America".

Prices of the American benchmark for the sweet light crude oil are sharply lower at the end of the week, taking the barrel to the mid-$68.00s area, or 2-week lows.

Opec is meeting next month to review its earlier production cut.

Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a 1.7 million-barrel drop in crude oil stockpiles and a 620,000 barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles.

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"We've seen a lot of consumer interest", said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodities markets strategy at BNP Paribas.

The increase in US inventories came from a combination of reduced exports and rising imports; the latter is somewhat surprising, Flynn said, because Brent crude is currently trading at a $7 premium to USA crude, making exports more advantageous right now.

OPEC and its partners chose to extend its production cuts till the end of 2018 in Vienna on November 30, as the oil cartel and its allies step up their attempt to end a three-year supply glut that has savaged crude prices and the global energy industry.

"People are having a hard time taking them seriously about it for now, but definitely it's registering more with the market today", he said, adding, "Unnamed OPEC sources are only going to carry the day so far". OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1. USA petrol prices have jumped by about a fifth this year to $2.90 a gallon.

Representatives of OPEC and other major oil producers convened May 22 before the group's main meeting next month to review the impact of production cuts.

Oil prices have gained roughly 20% so far this year, with Brent briefly rising above $80/Bbl, driven primarily by coordinated supply cuts by OPEC members and non-OPEC partners led by Russian Federation.


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