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Crude Prices Up

Crude Prices UpCrude Prices Up

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on news of lower Russian production and expectations that major OPEC exporters would extend output cuts into the second half of the year.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 50 cents at $52.02 a barrel. The futures contract hit a one-month low of $50.45 last week after the restart of two Libyan oilfields. US light crude was up 35 cents at $49.19, CNBC reported.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia have agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for the first half of 2017 to try to reduce a global glut.

Russian oil production fell slightly last month to 11 million bpd, almost hitting its output target under the deal with OPEC.

OPEC and other producers plan to meet on May 25 and are widely expected to keep output limits for the rest of the year.

"The second half of the year looks brighter, provided OPEC remains at least as disciplined as during the first half of 2017," said Tamas Varga, analyst at London broker PVM.

BP Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary told CNBC on Tuesday that oil inventories would keep falling and prices would be supported above $50 if OPEC extended its output limits.

"If the OPEC cuts get rolled into the second half of the year, that will underpin oil prices," Gilvary said.

But oil market sentiment is fragile and many investors are concerned by the slow pace of inventory drawdowns, with stockpiles still near record highs.

 

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