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Oil slips as higher U.S. output looms despite dip in drilling

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - prices gave up earlier gains on Monday as rising U.S. output loomed over markets, despite a slowdown in rig drilling activity.

U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.91 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent.

Brent crude futures were at $65.38 per barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.

Analysts said a liquidation of long positions had contributed to the dips.

"Money managers liquidated 15,416 long positions in WTI last week while creating 4,386 new shorts," Dutch said on Monday.

The dips came after crude prices had risen on Friday and earlier on Monday.

"A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices," said William O'Loughlin, at

The U.S. economy added the biggest number of jobs in more than 1-1/2 years in February, with non-farm payrolls jumping by 313,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.

In markets, U.S. cut rigs for the first time in almost two months, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796, firm said on Friday.

Despite the lower rig count, which is an early indicator of future output, activity remains much higher than a year ago when, when just 617 rigs were active, and most analysts expect U.S. crude production, which has already risen by over a fifth since mid-2016, to 10.37 million barrels per day (bpd), to rise further.

"Permian and Bakken shale basins still saw active rigs rising by 2 and 3 last week, respectively, and are likely to keep U.S. production on increasing trend," said.

The has become the world's no. 2 crude producer, ahead of top exporter Only pumps more, at nearly 11 million bpd.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with a group of other producers led by Russia, has been withholding production since the start of 2017 to prop up prices.

It is not clear when the deal to withhold output will end, but Iranian minister said OPEC could agree in June to begin easing current production curbs in 2019, reported on Sunday.

(Reporting by Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 13:31 IST