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Oil prices stabilize after U.S. production hits July 2015 highs

Oil prices stabilize after U.S. production hits July 2015 highs”

The Baker Hughes' report on the US oil drilling rigs, an early indicator of future output, showed the rig count fall in for the fourth week out of the last five.

Libya restarted its largest oil field after gunmen forced a shutdown of the field over the weekend while US production hit its highest level in more than two years.

Climbing US shale production has kept a lid on price gains, but Falih said inventories were still falling.

Russian Federation and de-facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia made waves past year when they agreed (along with the rest of OPEC, albeit with some members more reluctant than others) to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day in a bid to support and stabilize oil prices, which have declined since mid-2014 on the back of a glut in supply.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de-facto leader, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday to discuss, among other things, oil policy.

He was also quoted by Reuters saying that he saw no objection within OPEC to extending the deal for cutting oil output. Prices fell $0.44, or 0.9%, to $49.98 on Wednesday.

Fitch forecasts global benchmark Brent crude to average $52.50 per barrel in the fourth quarter of this year and for next year, and $55 a barrel in 2019. The dollar hit a 10-week high after data showing the largest gain in US wages since December 2016 bolstered bets on an interest rate hike by year-end. Last week's figure also beat the previous record set by exporters, which was hit in the previous week, at 1.5 million bpd.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have each earned $40 billion from the 2016 deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to cut oil output, said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Lower demand from U.S. Gulf Coast refiners that are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey in August has caused crude sellers to seek markets overseas, triggering shipments of 1.98 million barrels a day, the highest level in weekly government data compiled since 1993.

U.A.E. Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said Monday in Abu Dhabi that some members not subject to output cuts may be asked to join the agreement the next time OPEC meets.



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