Oil at one-month high, supply-cut extension expected

Fri May 19, 2017 4:10pm EDT
 
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By Julia Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Friday, closing out a second week of gains on growing expectations that OPEC and other producing countries will agree next week to extend output cuts.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled up $1.10, or 2.1 percent, at $53.61, the highest settlement for the international benchmark since April 18. U.S. benchmark crude oil CLc1 rose 98 cents to $50.33, the highest close since April 19.

U.S. crude gained 5.2 percent for the week, while Brent rose 5.4 percent.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia are scheduled to meet on May 25. They are expected to extend output cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day until the end of March 2018.

The OPEC-led group is trying to reduce a global crude glut that has been slow to balance out due to weak demand and rising production elsewhere, particularly the United States. An OPEC panel is considering even deeper supply cuts to try to boost prices.

Many investors remain concerned about high global inventories, and supply data from around the world shows that drawdowns of global inventories have slowed or even reversed.

U.S. crude production has climbed 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day as shale producers have taken advantage of higher prices to boost activity. Energy services firm Baker Hughes said U.S. drillers added oil rigs for an 18th week in a row, the second-longest streak on record.

U.S. drillers added eight oil rigs in the week to May 19, bringing the total count to 720, the most since April 2015.   Continued...

 
A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Company near Guthrie, Oklahoma September 15, 2015.    REUTERS/Nick Oxford