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Iran Crude Oil at $53

Iran Crude Oil at $53Iran Crude Oil at $53

Iranian crude oil continues its run into the bull-market territory on the back of a global pact to cut supplies that kicked in on January 1.

Its light crude traded at $53.31 in the week ending on Dec. 30, gaining $1.15 over the week. Iran Heavy, the country's main export grade, also rose by $1.18 to $52.48, the Oil Ministry said in a report, IRNA reported on Saturday.

Iran's light and higher-value crude averaged $41 per barrel in 2016 and its heavy oil grade averaged $39.19.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries struck a historic deal on Nov. 30 to slash collective output by 1.2 million barrels per day through the first half of 2017. Non-OPEC countries, including the world's top producer Russia, joined the pact on Dec. 10, committing to a further production cut of 558,000 barrels a day.

Under the deal, Iran got exemption to raise production to 3.8 million barrels a day from slightly more than 3.7 million bpd that it produced in October.

Oil hit an 18-month high of $58.37 a barrel last week following reports that producing nations were mostly honoring their commitments. International oil benchmark Brent has gained more than 20% since OPEC reached the supply-cut deal in Vienna.

Production by the 13-member bloc started its downward trajectory last month.

Supply from OPEC in December fell to 34.18 million bpd from a revised 34.38 million bpd in November, the first since May, owing to attacks on Nigeria's oil industry and top exporter Saudi Arabia trimming exports, according to a Reuters survey based on shipping data and information from industry sources.

OPEC said in a statement that the price of its basket of thirteen crudes stood at $52.71 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $53.13 the previous day.

However, oil prices are still less than half of their peak level of $115 per barrel two and a half years ago.

Most forecasts expect oil to settle at a $50-60 per-barrel price range in 2017. Analysts say the OPEC and non-OPEC deal could be offset by higher supplies from shale oil producers who have found ways to adapt to low prices.

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