Oil prices near multi-year highs

LONDON, January 8, 2018 – Crude oil prices were hovering near recent multi-year peaks on Monday, helped by news of a decline in U.S. oil rigs, although ongoing concerns over rising U.S. production were expected to limit gains.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was steady at $61.42 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), not far from last week’s two-and-a-half year high of $62.21.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London slipped 0.12 cents or about 0.21% to $67.48 a barrel, still close to the previous session’s nearly three-year peak of $68.27.


Oil services firm Baker Hughes on Friday reported a decline by five to 742 in the number of U.S. rigs in the week to January 5.

However, optimism was limited by news U.S. production is expected to exceed 10 million barrels per day (bpd) very soon, mainly due to increasing output from shale drillers.

Rising U.S. production could undermine production cut efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures fell 0.38% at $1.782 a gallon, while natural gas futures gained 2.22% to $2.857 per million British thermal units.

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