April 12, 2018 / 12:23 AM / 2 years ago

Oil markets tense on Middle East crisis, but rising U.S. supplies weigh

* Escalating crisis in Syria pushed crude to 2014 highs Wednesday

* U.S. production hits fresh high of 10.53 million bpd

* U.S. crude inventories rise to 428.64 million barrels

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, April 12 (Reuters) - Oil markets remained tense on Thursday on concerns of a military escalation in Syria, but prices were some way off Wednesday’s 2014 highs as bulging American supplies weighed.

Brent crude futures were at $71.98 per barrel at 0016 GMT, down 8 cents from their last close.

U.S. WTI crude futures were at $66.83 a barrel, virtually unchanged from their last settlement.

Both Brent and WTI hit 2014 highs of $73.09 and $67.45 per barrel on Wednesday, respectively, after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh and U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria.

“Geopolitical risks outweighed an unexpected rise in inventories in the U.S.,” ANZ bank said on Thursday.

U.S. crude oil inventories C-STK-T-EIA rose by 3.3 million barrels to 428.64 million barrels.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA last week hit a fresh record of 10.53 million barrels per day (bpd), up by a quarter since mid-2016.

The United States now produces more crude than top exporter Saudi Arabia. Only Russia, at currently just under 11 million bpd, pumps out more.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Michael Perry

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