Oil prices have witnessed a marginal rise as increasing US production has outweighed gains achieved from the ongoing Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and voluntary output cuts led by OPEC.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose 17 cents, or 0.3% to trade at $57.33 a barrel, while international Brent crude futures LCOc1 surged 14 cents, or 0.2% to trade at $63.55 a barrel, according to Reuters.
Since last Friday, oil markets have not seen any significant fluctuation in terms of prices, with Brent staying within a $63.00 to $63.91 per barrel range.
A strike called by oil workers in Nigeria citing unfavourable labour practices threatened to create supply concerns. However, the strike was halted, easing upward pressure on oil markets.
Oil price rises have been sustained to an extent by the ongoing outage of Ineos’ Forties pipeline system in the North Sea, and the extension of supply cuts by OPEC and a group of non-OPEC producers until the end of 2018.
Oanda futures brokerage senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The Forties pipeline closure will continue to put a floor under Brent crude.”
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The output cut has led to a decline in global oil inventories.
However, rising US production has continued to be a cause for concern for OPEC and other producers.
Based on a report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US shale production alone is anticipated to grow by 94,000bpd in January, continuing its growth trend.
US production is expected to be level with that of Saudi Arabia, as the EIA forecasts that production will hit a record 10.02 million bpd in 2018.