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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