SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were stable on Friday, with rising crude output from the United States offsetting efforts by OPEC and other producers to prop up the market by cutting supplies.
Oil prices were stable on Friday, with rising crude output from the United States offsetting efforts by OPEC and other producers to prop up the market by cutting supplies.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at USD 56.21 per barrel at 0231 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 53.84 a barrel, up 6 cents.
Traders said growth in US output was counteracting efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia to reduce a global fuel overhang, resulting in range-bound prices.
"US producer hedging via futures and increasing shale production offset the progress OPEC has made with its production cut implementation," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
"Market participants are hyper-focused on two issues: shale's response to higher prices and OPEC compliance," Barclays bank said.
"Producers and OPEC countries are all talking their books, yet the jury is still out," it added, referring to widespread scepticism over compliance with announced cuts.
The British bank said it expected Brent and WTI prices to average USD 55 and USD 53 per barrel respectively for the first quarter.
OPEC and other producers have agreed to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first half of 2017 to fight a supply overhang that has seen between 1 million and 2 million bpd of crude being produced in excess of consumption over the past two years.
US oil production, however, has risen by around half a million barrels per day since mid-2016 to 8.96 million bpd.