The price of Brent crude oil increased above $48 a barrel today despite analysts warning of dim outlook due to oversupply and rising inventories.

Reuters reported that Brent increased 61 cents to $48.60 a barrel, while US crude increased 41 cents to $46.88.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reduced its worldwide economic growth forecast for 2015.

"Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne has ordered the company to limit its US shale spending."

Oil analysts have warned markets that the outlook for the first half of this year remains weak due to ample supplies and inventory rises.

According to OPEC, the decline in oil prices is starting to slow growth in US production, leading to investment cuts.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne has ordered the company to limit its US shale spending.

Analysts at BNP Paribas said in a report: "We see little scope for avoiding a large stock build in the first half of 2015 and therefore anticipate weak prices."

A survey of analysts by Reuters has found that crude stocks in the US are expected to increase by 2.6 million barrels.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is due to release its report later today.

Meanwhile, Russia has declined to reduce production with OPEC; however, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that oil output may see a natural decline of approximately one million barrels per day.

Oilfield services companies Baker Hughes and Halliburton are planning to cut several jobs due to a slowdown in drilling activity because of the sharp decline in Brent prices.