Indian basket of crude closes around $50 a barrel

New Delhi/New York: With global crude oil prices climbing over $50 a barrel after having fallen below $25, the Indian basket of crude oils also inched up, closing on Thursday at $49.35, up from its closure at $48.91 on the previous trading day. The Indian basket is composed of 73 per cent sour grade Dubai and Oman crudes and the rest of sweet grade UK Brent. Oil prices rallied as data showed a larger than expected drop in US crude stocks. The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery on Thursday settled at $50.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery closed at $51.95 on the London ICE Futures Exchange. The US crude supplies during last week lost 3.2 million barrels to a level of 532.5 million barrels, according to the latest Energy Information Administration's weekly report. Oil prices have surged over 90 per cent from a multi-year low in February on a weaker US dollar, a continued slide in the US output and unexpected disruptions. Meanwhile, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deciding last week against an output cut and to continue producing at existing volumes, the price of OPEC's basket of 13 crudes rose to $48.02 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $47.76 on Wednesday, according to the Vienna-based OPEC Secretariat. The 13-nation cartel, which accounts for 40 per cent of global crude output, said in a statement following its meeting in Vienna that its members were committed to a "stable and balanced oil market and that the market is moving through the balancing process". OPEC member Iran has been ramping up production to its pre-sanctions levels despite the recent supply glut. It has pumped an estimated 32.4 million barrels a day in April. The Iranian supply has been balanced by disruptions in Canada, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela. Rebel attacks on oil installations cut Nigeria's production by 10 per cent in May by around 160,000 barrels a day. As a result, OPEC's total crude output fell to 32.71 million barrels a day last month -- from 32.83 million in April -- thus helping drive a rally in oil prices since they touched a 12-year low in January.