Crude Oil Prices Sidestep Rising Oil Rigs To Notch Second Straight Weekly Win

Crude Oil Prices Sidestep Rising Oil Rigs To Notch Second Straight Weekly Win© Reuters. – Crude prices settled higher as a drop in Libyan production and upbeat comments from Saudi’s chief offset data showing the number of rigs increased for the fifth-straight week.

On the Mercantile Exchange for March delivery rose 78 cents to settle at $63.55 a barrel, while on ’s Intercontinental Exchange, gained 92 cents to trade at $67.31 a barrel.

The number of oil rigs operating in the US jumped by one to 799, the highest level since April 2, 2015, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes, pointing to further expansion in US output.

Offsetting that, however, was an earlier report of a dip in Libyan production as the country’s El Feel oilfield shutdown, which produces 70,000 barrels per day of crude.

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Also helping crude to a second-straight weekly gain were upbeat comments from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih who said was clear oil markets are rebalancing, and added that he expects inventories to continue to decline in 2018.

Al-Falih’s comments come in the wake of steady US production, threatening to derail major oil producers efforts to reduce global oil supplies to ’s five year average. The oil cartel together with agreed in December to extend the 1.8 million bpd output cuts through 2018, to rid the market of excess supplies.

The ’s weekly inventory totals showed US crude production remained close to its highest level in nearly half a decade at 10.27 million barrels. This keeps the US on track to meet the EIA’s recent estimate for domestic production to top 11 million barrels per day by year-end.

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