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Oil Inches Forward Despite Increased Russian Production

CommoditiesApr 03, 2018 04:48AM ET
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© Reuters. Oil prices inched up on Monday.

Investing.com - Oil prices inched forward on Tuesday, as a slow down of U.S. production outweighed concern over increased Russian output.

Crude oil futures rose 0.70% to $63.45 a barrel by 4:45 AM ET (8:45 GMT).

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was up 52 cents, or 0.77%, to $68.16 a barrel after falling more than 2% the day before.

The price of oil was supported by data last week that showed U.S. drilling activity had declined for the first time in three weeks.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes on Thursday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by seven to 797.

The report eased worry that U.S. shale oil production would derail efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ to curb supply.

OPEC has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018 but de-facto leader Saudi Arabia is pushing for the cuts to extend into 2019.

However, concerns of oversupply resurfaced on Monday after Russia reported an increase in production in March, to 10.97 million bpd from 10.95 million bpd in February. Prices were also held back by worry that Saudi Arabia will cut prices for all crude grades it sells to Asia in May.

Investors are also looking ahead to Wednesday, when the weekly oil data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration are released.

The report, which includes production figures, will provide traders a better look at where prices are headed. A dip in drilling activity could imply the rise of U.S. production is tapering off, while a rise would cause concern that the world supply glut will continue.

In other energy trading, Gasoline Futures increased 0.81% at $1.9845 a gallon, while heating oil gained 0.58% to $1.9916 a gallon. Natural gas futures was flat at $2.683 per million British thermal units.

Oil Inches Forward Despite Increased Russian Production
 

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