Crude Oil Firms Above $50

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Oil prices dipped early on Monday but remained near multi-month highs reached late last week as the count of USA rigs drilling for new production fell and refineries continued to start up after having been knocked out by Hurricane Harvey.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation have agreed to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March to reduce global oil inventories and support prices. The contract stated a weekly rise of 5.1 percent with its strongest form in almost two months.

Prices continue to be supported by last week's report from the International Energy Agency which lifted its 2017 demand outlook. "Any increase in the production from the spring of 2018 would...generate renewed oversupply in the oil market and put prices under pressure", the analysts wrote in a note Wednesday.

Oil rose on Wednesday, set for its largest third-quarter gain since 2004, after the Iraqi oil minister said OPEC and its partners were considering extending or deepening supply cuts to erode an existing global surplus.

An OPEC committee concluded the cartel and allied oil producers last month overshot production curbs called for in their agreement, according to two delegates.

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USA crude stockpiles rose to 472.8 million barrels last week, while inventories at the crucial trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed to the highest since June. Iraq, the group's second-biggest producer, has said production should be reduced by an additional 1 percent to help rebalance the market.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude finished at Friday's session unaltered from the prior session at $49.89 per barrel. Total volume traded was about 2 per cent above the 100-day average.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was up 66 cents or about 1.20% at $55.80 a barrel, not far from last Thursday's five-month high of $55.98.

Global crude oil prices slipped slightly Monday but stayed close to multimonth highs as traders braced for a potential stockpile build, expected later this week.

Although the front-month gasoline futures contract that expires next week was little changed at $1.6498 a gallon, later-dated contracts including the more-heavily traded November futures rose.

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