Oil markets cautious Tuesday as rising United States output undermines OPEC supply cuts

WTI Crude Oil

Weekly January WTI Crude Oil

US oil prices have risen above $55 a barrel recently amid geopolitical tensions overseas, supply disruptions and an anticipated extension of OPEC's production cuts next year.

So far this year, Brent has averaged $54.5 a barrel.

Despite the cautious sentiment, traders said oil prices would unlikely fall very far, largely due to ongoing supply restrictions led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation, which have contributed to a reduction in excess supplies.

He added that while he had not heard any OPEC members discussing the possibility of not extending the deal, the time and duration of an extension was still to be decided.

OPEC has released this month's Monthly Oil Market Report, outlining the cartel's assessment of the state of the global oil industry.

"I don't see the need to delay the decision until March".

Investors already are assuming Opec and its allied producers will agree at the end of this month to extend the limits well beyond their March expiration, Morse said at a gathering of energy economists in Houston on Monday.

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The Paris-based group said it cut its demand outlook for next year by 190,000 barrels a day, and global production could vault above demand by 600,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of 2018, and by 200,000 barrels a day in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, with $2.39 rise from its preceding week, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s basket price stood at $58.73 per barrel in the said week.

Commenting on the cuts, OPEC's Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo used equally as strong words, saying that the production cuts were the "only viable option" to restore stability to the oil market.

Stocks were 154 million barrels above the five-year average, the excess that OPEC aims to eliminate.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday as the prospect of further rises in USA output undermined ongoing OPEC-led production cuts aimed at tightening the market.

On the supply side, tensions in the Middle East raised the prospect of disruptions, traders said, adding it was unclear whether a strong quake that hit Iran and Iraq on Sunday had affected the region's oil production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $56.62 per barrel, down 14 cents, or 0.25 percent.

Bahrain said Iran was behind an explosion in its main oil pipeline.

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