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14 October 2017, 01:17 | Lionel James
Oil prices are expected to remain steady as the market rebalances in 2018
But, to help ensure the production of oil remains balanced and keeps prices around the $60 per barrel mark that's suitable for suppliers and importers of the commodity, it's been suggested the cap should be extended beyond March 2018 when it is set to end.
The forecasts assume that Libya and Nigeria's production will remain at current levels and US shale output will expand by no more than 500,000 barrels a day next year, two of the people said. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.41 per barrel, up 81 cents from its last settlement.
Brent futures were up $1.03, or 1.8 percent, at $57.28 a barrel by 12:12 p.m. EDT (1612 GMT).
The monthly OPEC oil market report noted that, based on secondary sources, Angola produced 1.641 million barrels in September, a monthly drop of 2,900 barrels, while Nigeria increased production by 50,800 barrels to 1.855 million barrels.
RCMA Group Energy managing director David Maher said: "OPEC doesn't really have a choice but to extend cuts unless they're happy to risk sub-$40 per barrel prices again".
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China's robust imports have been driven by purchases for its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR).
Crude oil prices rebounded Friday morning ahead of a slew of just-released economic data.
Unrest in Iraq and the prospect of a tougher United States action on Iran nuclear deal also underpinned prices. At least 6,000 Kurdish fighters have been deployed in the oil-rich Kirkuk province following "threats" of attack from Iraqi forces, media network Rudaw reported. The deal has to be re-certified every 90 days and is due for renewal on Sunday.
"Such a move could constrain the flow of much-needed foreign investment to Iran's upstream sector, which in turn will be detrimental to oil exports from the country", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.
OPEC and some producers outside the cartel, including Russian Federation, first agreed almost a year ago to cap production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels.
"OPEC-led cuts have breathed new life into oil bulls but unless the organization digs deeper, the drawdown in global oil stockpiles will soon fizzle out", broker PVM's Stephen Brennock wrote.
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