Oil prices edge up on expected OPEC supply cuts

WTI oil price

Oil falls after Russia preaches patience rather than production cuts

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.07 a barrel, 13c, or 0.2%, below their last settlement.

The rising drilling activity points to a further increase in USA crude oil production, which has already jumped by nearly a quarter this year, to a record 11.7 million bpd.

Crude markers in NY and London have both fallen more than 20 percent from their October highs on concerns over a supply glut after the U.S.

Though it is nearly certain that the group will resort to a production cut, the exact quantum of cut will be decided only at the meeting. On Monday, Japan's Ministry of Finance reported that October crude oil imports fell by 7.7 percent from the same month previous year, to 2.77 million barrels per day (bpd).

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But analysts have several concerns about any impending management strategy, starting with the ability of OPEC itself to deliver the goods efficiently: Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho, explained that "For a cut to be successful in supporting the market, they're going to have to present a front that is not fractured and the chance of that is looking less and less likely as December 6 approaches" - a reference to OPEC's meeting date in Vienna.

Oil prices have been rising steadily since May after the U.S. announced its decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose tighter sanctions on Tehran's oil exports.

Meanwhile, the United States was considering adding Venezuela, one of its biggest crude suppliers, to Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism but no final decision has been made, a person familiar with the deliberations said late on Monday. Light short-covering is behind the moves as some investors adjust positions on the thought that OPEC and its allies may soon announce another round of production cuts to stem the oversupply situation. The contract dropped $3.42, or 4.9 percent, last week. Total volume traded Tuesday was 40 percent above the 100-day average. With signs of economic and oil demand growth slowing, the market may be expecting an announcement of a sizeable output reduction in early December, and could be bitterly disappointed should OPEC fail to live up to this expectation.

The number of working American oil rigs gained by 2 to 888 last week, the highest level since March 2015, Baker Hughes data said.

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The broader cooperation is seen as an evolution to the current production cut deal.

This comes as supply in the United States is surging. 9, according to government data.

Though Russia is still not fully on board, there is a general consensus among OPEC members to suck out 1-1.4 million barrels a day - the quantity covered under waivers -through a production cut.

"Fundamentals over the next six months point to a recovery in oil prices following their sharp decline in October and early November", BNP Paribas said.

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