Oil nudges higher as OPEC reduces output

FILE PHOTO - Oil tanker unloads crude oil at a crude oil terminal in Zhoushan
FILE PHOTO – An oil tanker unloads crude oil at a crude oil terminal in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China July 4, 2018. Picture taken July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

February 1, 2019

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. oil prices edged higher on Friday, recovering from losses of nearly 1 percent in the previous session, as data showed major exporters are quickly reducing output in line with a supply cutting pact.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $53.96 per barrel at 0009 GMT, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last settlement. In the previous session, WTI hit $55.37 a barrel, the highest since Nov. 21, before reversing course to end lower.

International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade, after closing up 0.4 percent in the previous session.

“Prices supported by data showing further falls in output,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.98 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, a Reuters survey showed, down 890,000 bpd from December and the largest month-on-month drop since January 2017.

The U.S. sanctions imposed on state oil firm PDVSA this week are keeping tankers stuck at ports and are expected to accelerate the supply drop in February.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)

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