Oil edges up after producer meeting, but high U.S. output weighs

By By Henning Gloystein Features Reuters

(Copyright Reuters 2017)

Oil prices edged up on Monday, supported by statements from oil producers over the weekend that a output cut was being successfully implemented, but markets were held back by a surge in drilling that suggested U.S. output would rise further.

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Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at $55.57 per barrel at 0016 GMT (07:16 PM EST), up 8 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 8 cents at $53.30 a barrel.

"Oil rallied strongly as oil producers met to discuss the adherence to the production cut agreement. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that producers have cut 1.5 million barrel per day so far in 2017," ANZ bank said on Monday.

"Prices reversed these gains after data showed another pickup in drilling activity," it added.

U.S. energy companies last week added the most rigs drilling for new production in almost four years. Drillers added 29 rigs in the week to Jan. 20, bringing the total count up to 551, the most since November 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

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U.S. oil production has risen over 6 percent since mid-2017, and although they remain 7 percent below their historic 2015 peak, they are back to levels of late 2014, when high U.S. crude output contributed to a crash in oil prices.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)