Oil edges up on reduced United States drilling activity, booming job market

Oil Slips As Higher US Output Looms Despite Dip In Drilling

Oil down 1% on continued concerns over US output

"A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices", NAN quoted William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Rivkin Securities, to have said.

As the rig count fell, "the market is starting to think that US shale oil production may not steadily grow, which is supporting oil prices", Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at state-backed Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp., said by phone from Tokyo.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures finished lower on Monday on renewed concerns over rising U.S. production and tight OPEC supply.

Brent crude oil could slide below $60/bbl as a surge in USA shipments to Asia threatens to undermine the production cut deal between OPEC and its allies, according to ING analysts, in contrast to bullish views from Goldman Sachs and others who see prices supported as strong demand soaks up supply from the U.S.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.5% to $65.11 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.

The reduction came as gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in almost a month.

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Energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday that energy companies last week cut oil rigs for the first time in nearly two months.

US crude oil production soared past 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in late 2017, overtaking output by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Oil prices shot up more than 3 percent in Friday trading after oil and gas services company Baker Hughes reported a dip in rig activity in North America.

Still, the United States is now the world's no. 2 crude oil producer, ahead of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

"While Friday's favorable jobs data and oil rig decline might suggest a test of the high side of this expected range first, we still view downside price risk exceeding that to the upside", he said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with other producers, has been limiting production since the start of 2017 to prop up prices.

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