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Oil prices up on continued optimism

LONDON, January 9, 2018 – Crude oil prices remained supported near multi-year highs on Tuesday, still boosted by a decline in U.S. oil rigs and supply cuts by major oil producers.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was up 22 cents or about 0.36% at $61.95 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), just off a fresh two-and-a-half year high of $62.27 hit overnight.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 10 cents or about 0.16% to $67.88 a barrel, not far from last week’s nearly three-year peak of $68.27.

 

Oil prices remained supported since after Baker Hughes on Friday reported a decline by five to 742 in the number of U.S. rigs in the week to January 5.

The commodity also continues to benefit from 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.

However, concerns over rising U.S. oil production continued to linger, especially following reports hits week that U.S. production is expected to exceed 10 million barrels per day (bpd) very soon.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures rose 0.58% to $1.808 a gallon, while natural gas futures edged up 0.25% to $2.843 per million British thermal units.

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