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OPEC economists attributed the increase in US oil production to steady gains in the price of crude oil since the middle of a year ago.

The OPEC president, who doubles as the United Arab Emirates energy minister, also said an increase in demand for crude inventories along with "compliance with output cuts" will cushion oversupply in the global oil market in 2018. That's triggered more work in exploration and production, not only in the US shale oil sector, but also in the deep USA waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even with a recent wobble, crude oil prices have been on a tear in recent years, underpinned by the belief that production cuts from OPEC and its allies, along with firmer global growth, will help to balance the global market.

But the global market will return to balance only towards the end of 2018 as higher prices encourage the United States and other non-member producers to pump more, OPEC added in a monthly report.

The steady decline of the USA dollar has helped drive up crude prices for weeks, but that came to an abrupt halt last week. Last year's demand growth, in parallel with a modest uptick in non-OPEC output and reductions by leading exploration and production (E&P) companies, contributed to an "extraordinarily rapid fall" in oil stocks from countries within the OECD, i.e., the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

OPEC said the healthy world economy should provide the backdrop for faster-than-expected oil demand, Reuters reported.

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Supply-side pressures have undermined some of the effort, particularly the gains in USA oil production, a situation compounded by higher export levels.

Yet OPEC's strategy could be backfiring, as the increase in prices to a three-year high stimulates more supply from America.

An over-supplied market, led by the emerging shale oil boom and a previous OPEC policy to defend a market share with stronger production, pushed oil below $30 per barrel in 2016.

OPEC and its partners, including Russian Federation, have curbed supply since January 2017 in a bid to drain global inventories in an agreement that continues through the end of the year. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 17 cents to $59.37 a barrel. Brent crude futures were at $63.42 per barrel at 0250 GMT, up 63 cents, or 1 percent, from the previous close.

The report also put Iran's oil production, based on secondary sources, at 3.829 million barrels per day (bpd) in the mentioned month, 3,000 bpd less than that of December.

“We have no concern whatsoever about rising US exports. Now, history could be repeating itself.

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