Oil falls to $46, Nigerian cargoes face competition

Global oil output sees slowest growth since 2013

Oil prices settled lower for a second straight day on Thursday, as the market was unable to rebound from Wednesday's decline on the back of a surprise build in USA gasoline inventories and ongoing worries about heavy global supply.

Traders said the slight increases were a result of the threat of a partial export halt in Libya. Motor fuel stockpiles expanded by 2.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration reported.

USA output is still expected to rise by 800,000 bpd in 2017, contributing nearly all the non-OPEC gain.

"The risk is to the downside for oil", said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were down 1.08% at $45.96 a barrel.

Shale supply has pushed US crude production up by about 10 percent over the previous year to 9.3 million bpd - not far below the output of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Oil prices fell to their lowest in over five weeks on Wednesday, following USA data showing an unexpectedly large weekly build in US gasoline inventories and International Energy Agency (IEA) data projecting an increase in non-OPEC production.

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"The build in gasoline stocks was a result of a further decline in gasoline demand, which marks a very subdued start into the summer driving season", said Fritsch.

Libya, exempt from the OPEC-led deal to cut supply, will boost output to 1 MMbpd by the end of July, according to the country's National Oil Co.

Increased oil production in the United States is hampering efforts to balance out market supply and demand, OPEC said on Tuesday.

Crude output from OPEC nations rose by 290,000 bpd in May to a 2017 high of 32.08 million barrels per day, according to the EIA. Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that US crude stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to June 9 to 511.4 million, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

The IEA expects oil supplies next year to outpace demand despite consumption hitting 100 million bpd for the first time.

In a report on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said rising US output will contribute to supply growth exceeding demand growth in 2018. The global benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $2.24 to August WTI.

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