MTECHTIPS;- Brent, NYMEX gain in Asia despite API build, official

MTECHTIPS;- Brent, NYMEX gain in Asia despite API build, official data awaited

MTECHTIPS- Crude prices drifted higher in Asia on Wednesday, shrugging off an industry-reported build in U.S. inventories ahead of official figures later in the day from the U.S. Department of Energy. The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude oil stocks rose 1.5 million barrels last week, above a forecast of a 900,000 barrels build. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude for February delivery rose 0.28% to $50.96 a barrel. Global benchmark Brent rose 0.22% to $53.76 a barrel on London’d ICE. Overnight, oversupply fears held sway, taking crude sharply lower. Worries right now focus on whether the OPEC and non-OPEC countries will adhere to their promised production cut pact, made late last year to trim nearly 1.8 million barrels per day from global markets. Iraq is still producing and selling full allocations of its oil to refiners in Asia and Europe. Clipper Data shows that a half of all Basra loading last month went into Asia. Last year, the U.S. received slightly less than 400,000 bpd from Basrah, with “Basrah Light” accounting for just over 60% of these flows, and “Basrah Heavy” accounting for the rest. Kurdish oil output, this year, is up, though, as it is not adhering to Iraqi quotas agreed upon with OPEC, according to analysts