Investing.com - Oil prices were flat Tuesday morning in Asia due to mixed cues from the Middle East, Asia and the U.S.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for April delivery were trading at $63.91 a barrel in Asia at 10:45pm ET, neither up nor down. Brent crude futures for May delivery, traded in London, were down just 0.09% at $67.28 per barrel at 10:50am Hong Kong time.
Oil prices have zigzagged between mild gains and losses over the past weeks due to mixed cues. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said on Saturday that the Kingdom hoped the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would ease production restraints next year after the current supply cut deal ends this year.
In an effort to stabilize oil markets, OPEC has been curbing output by around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since January 2017, and the pact would run until the end of 2018.
While the effort has helped somewhat to support oil prices, the U.S. has continued to increase its oil production, filling the gap in supply created by OPEC and thus pushing prices down.
The U.S has increased its production by more than 20% since mid-2016 to more than 10 million bpd. At this rate of production increase, the U.S. is set to overtake Russia in crude oil output by late 2018, making it the largest global supplier.
Meanwhile, demand continues to surge in Asia, particularly China, which emerged as a top buyer of U.S. crude last year. A recent report from Rystad Energy also forecasted that oil production in East and Southeast Asia would drop by 20 percent between 2017 and 2025, further boosting demand.
Next month, Saudi Arabia will reduce its oil production by 100,000 bpd and cut its exports to below 7 million bpd, a move that would further curb the global oversupply and support oil markets.
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