Oil Futures Cut Gains At Settlement As EIA Forecasts Rise In Shale Output

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures pared much of their gains in the minutes ahead of Tuesday's settlement after a report from the Energy Information Administration forecast a rise of 41,000 barrels a day in February oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays. Oil prices had found support earlier after Saudi Arabia's oil minister on Monday said the oil market would reach a balance between supply and demand in the first half of this year, according to media reports. February West Texas Intermediate crude rose 11 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $52.48 a barrel--down from the day's high of $53.52.

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