Oil prices steady

LONDON – Oil prices steadied yesterday, supported by signs that global supply may be tightening gradually and restrained by rising US shale production. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was unchanged at $51,66 a barrel by 1120 GMT. US light, sweet crude CLc1 was also unchanged on the day at $47,37. “US crude oil stocks have been falling consistently in recent weeks,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.

“If the downtrend in oil inventories is maintained, then a bullish case can be made for oil, especially given the ongoing supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia,” he added.

US commercial crude inventories have fallen by almost 13 percent from their March peaks, to 466,5 million barrels. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers including Russia have pledged to hold back about 1,8 million barrels per day (bpd) of output between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten supplies and prop up prices. But oil production elsewhere has been rising, blunting the impact of output cuts by OPEC and its allies. US crude production has broken through 9,5 million bpd, its highest since July 2015.

Some analysts say US oil output growth will slow as energy firms cut the number of rigs drilling for oil.

So far, however, the increase in US production has been relentless with increasing volumes from shale, particularly from the giant Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico. — Reuters.

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