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U.S. crude oil inventories fell for the seventh straight week as refiners processed a near record amount of crude last week, the EIA said May 24, even as gasoline and distillate stockpiles also dipped.
OPEC and other oil producers are on course to agree on an extension of supply cuts at a meeting on May 25, with Saudi Arabia saying most participants are on board with the plan to rein in a global supply glut.
Oil prices strengthened on May 17 ahead of U.S. crude inventory data that could give investors a clue as to whether an OPEC-led output cut is making progress in reducing the persistent global supply overhang.
The global oil market is rebalancing and the pace at which supply and demand are falling into line is picking up, even if inventories still fail to reflect the impact of OPEC supply cuts, the IEA said.