* U.S. crude inventories dip, but gasoline stocks rise
* Saudi crude exports fall, but production climbs
* Raised Saudi crude output feeds domestic refiners
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, April 19 Oil prices dipped on
Wednesday as bloated U.S. supplies weighed on markets while a
fall in Saudi crude exports was offset by rising production in
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for
oil, were at $54.84 per barrel at 0059 GMT, down 5 cents from
their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were
down 4 cents at $52.37 a barrel.
"Crude oil prices were slightly weaker as the focus turned
back to U.S. inventories and output," ANZ bank said on
Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday
showed that U.S. markets remained bloated.
Although crude inventories fell by 840,000 barrels in the
week to April 14 to 531.6 million barrels, still close to record
highs, gasoline stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels as refinery
crude oil runs increased by 334,000 bpd, the API said.
Official U.S. oil data is expected to be published later on
Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Outside the United States, a fall in Saudi output as part of
its planned production cuts for the first half of this year lent
the market some support.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, together
with other producers like Russia have agreed to cut output by
almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half
of the year to rein in a global fuel supply overhang and prop up
Saudi crude exports fell to 6.96 million bpd in February,
from 7.7 million bpd in January, according to the Joint
Organisations Data Initiative (Jodi).
However, Saudi production rose to 10 million bpd in
February, up from 9.75 million bpd the previous month, the Jodi
data showed, as domestic refiners processed more crude oil.
This means that the Saudi oil may still make its way into a
glutted global market as significant proportions of its refined
fuel products are exported.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)