Oil falls as US crude production hits a record high
Information / Baghdad ..
Oil prices fell on Thursday, driven by higher production and declining Chinese refining activities, although US fuel consumption and a drop in crude inventories have given some support.
By 0610 GMT, Brent crude futures were down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $ 76.45 a barrel from the previous close.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 7 cents to $ 66.57 a barrel from the previous close.
China on Thursday announced a decline in refining activities from 12.06 million bpd in April to 11.93 million bpd in May, although the year-on-year refinery operating rate is still up 8.2 percent.
The decline came as data showed that China's industrial output, investment and retail sales registered slower-than-expected growth in May.
Prices were also negatively affected by another increase in US crude production, which hit a record 10.9 million bpd last week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration released on Wednesday.
US crude production has increased nearly 30 percent in the past two years and is now close to the production level of Russia, the world's biggest producer, which pumped 11.1 million bpd in the first two weeks of June.
US crude production is currently outpacing Saudi Arabia's largest oil producer, which produces just over 10 million bpd. Ending / 25