Oil prices edge up ahead of OPEC meeting on supply cut extension

SEOUL : Oil prices edged higher on Friday as the market waited to see whether major oil producers would extend supply cuts beyond March at a meeting in Vienna later in the day.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were at $56.51 a barrel at 0644 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 12 cents, or 0.24 percent, at $50.67 per barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are set to meet in Vienna to discuss a possible extension of an oil supply cut deal to prop up prices.

There will be some focus on whether Nigeria and Libya who have been exempt from the curbs will join any future cuts. The two OPEC members have both been invited to the meeting.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers including Russia first agreed in November last year to cut their output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to clear global oversupply and support prices.

Despite their concerted efforts – the oil cartel extended their supply cuts until the end of March – prices have remained depressed amid increasing U.S. oil production.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude production reached 9.51 million bpd in the week ended Sept.15, up from 8.78 million bpd a week ago.

Source : Reuters

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