World oil prices on the rise

USA-SHALE  PERMIAN

One of the big questions in 2018 is how much shale oil will the U.S. produce

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 20 cents to $59.84 a barrel.

Oil's trading at the highest level since mid-2015 after WTI breached above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than two years.

Crude oil were lower on Friday as expectations OPEC and other producers will extend their production cut agreement were offset by forecasts US output will continue to grow with prices holding near 28-month highs. Since the start of the year, Brent and WTI have risen by 17 and 12%, respectively, although the price rises from mid-2017 are much stronger, at almost 50%.

Nationwide stockpiles fell 4.6 million barrels last week to the lowest level since October 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration Thursday. Inventories excluding the nation's strategic reserve have declined more than 11 per cent in the past year.

Countering those cutbacks, United States oil production has soared more than 16% since mid-2016 and is approaching 10 million bpd, trailing only OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation.

International-benchmark Brent crude oil and U.S.

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In worldwide markets, China has issued crude oil import quotas totaling 121.32 million tons for 44 companies in its first batch of allowances for 2018.

In the most recent week, USA production dipped modestly to 9.75 million bpd from 9.79 mln bpd the previous week.

On the supply side, Brent prices have been supported by a year of production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation.

OPEC cuts kicked off last January and are scheduled to continue throughout 2018. While gains were driven by glut-shrinking output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East as well as pipeline disruptions from the North Sea to Canada and Libya have also helped.

Consultancy JBC Energy said Libyan pipeline outages had "no major impact on exports".

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