Oil Steadies Near $62 After Rallying on US Employment Data

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York

Oil Steadies Near $62 After Rallying on US Employment Data

"A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices", NAN quoted William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Rivkin Securities, to have said.

"The market continues to flip back and forth on the idea that increased global demand and a production cut is going to support prices. but US production, and North American production levels in general, is going to negate a lot of the impact of that", said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 slipped 54 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $64.95 per barrel.

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American explorers cut the number of rigs drilling for oil by four, the first decline since mid-January, Baker Hughes data showed on Friday. Oil prices gave up earlier gains today as rising U.S. output loomed over markets, despite a slowdown in rig drilling activity.

Despite the lower rig count, which is an early indicator of future output, activity remains much higher than a year ago when, when just 617 rigs were active, and most analysts expect United States crude oil production, which has already risen by over a fifth since mid-2016, to 10.37 million barrels per day (bpd), to rise further.

The rising US output comes largely on the back of onshore shale oil production.

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U.S. production is expected to rise above 11-million barrels a day by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

"The longer the deal goes on, it's going to start falling apart", Patterson said in an interview in Singapore, referring to an output-cut agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation.

While OPEC has complied with its 2017 production pledge, USA flows that are gaining a bigger slice of the Asian market may cause some countries to increase supplies, which could drag down crude prices after a rally of more than 40% since June, ING says.

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On Sunday, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said OPEC could agree in June to begin easing current production curbs in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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