Oil prices flatten amidst OPEC concerns

Oil prices flatten amidst OPEC concerns”

Pastors from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and different makers meet in Vienna on Friday and are expected to consider stretching out consent to reduce output by around 1.8 million barrels for each day (bpd).

Many analysts expect OPEC to extend the deal, possibly to the end of next year.

Even if the deal is extended, "compliance looks to be a bit of an issue" if prices rise much from current levels, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.

Also weighing on crude prices was a report from the Energy Information Agency on Monday, showing USA shale production is set to rise for the tenth straight month in October as the recent uptick in US oil prices - above $50 a barrel - spurred drilling activity.

USA crude stocks rose a less than expected 1.4 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, while gasoline stocks fell 5.1 million barrels and distillates dropped 6.1 million barrels.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the US, rose 0.36% to $55.34 a barrel.

"As I said, we are in the second month of the extension, so I do not think we are going to discuss any further extension right now", he said.

"Russia took a very long time to get to the compliance levels they were supposed to get to" in the output cut agreement, said Tariq Zahir, a trader with Tyche Capital Advisors in NY.

'It wouldn't surprise me to see them cheat a little bit as we get to the fourth quarter'. USA shale production, especially, has been growing to record highs.

Tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico have additionally pushed up unrefined inventories in a few sections of the United States as refineries have been closed by flooding.

US production has reached 9.51 million bpd, up from 8.78 million bpd after Hurricane Harvey hit the US Gulf.

Brent futures have traded in a sustained backwardation, where the back months are cheaper than the front month contract, for the first time since oil prices started slumping in July 2014.

The structure of oil futures prices suggests OPEC production cuts are beginning to have an impact, analysts say.

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