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Oil prices stabilized on Friday after deep losses at the previous session due to pressure from high-performing production in the US and the expectation of an increase in oil production by OPEC member countries. The more active August contract rose 0.3 percent.

Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 fell 91 cents to $76.65 per barrel.

The U.S. benchmark traded at a discount of more than $11 to Brent crude for the first time since March 2015.

US President Donald Trump also urged Opec to increase production which both Kapadia and Kelty believe had an important impact on driving prices down.

Rising oil activity is not helping either.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, grew by 634,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 1.3 million-barrel draw, the EIA data showed.

Instead, he noted that Venezuela's output has fallen by about 500,000 bpd this year and could drop by the same amount by the end of 2018, while USA drillers would struggle to boost output by more than 1.2 million bpd: "So we need every last barrel of those supplies to take us to where we need to balance the market".

The rise follows a huge increase of 15 oil rigs the week before.


This pushed Brent to a three-week low below $75 a barrel on Monday.

On the supply side, OPEC and its friends made a decision to cut back production at the end of 2016 and throughout 2017 in an effort to increase prices. We agreed that there will be a certain oil output volume and quota if it does not harm worldwide investors.

Also weighing on prices, an Energy Information Administration report on Thursday said that United States crude production continued to climb to record levels last month. It was also up 14.6% from March past year.

In other crude oil news, oil imports from Venezuela dropped more than 3 million bpd to 13.21 million bpd in the month, approaching the all-time low 13.20 million bpd, reported in January of 2003.

West Texas Intermediate futures are down 2.1 per cent this week as pipeline bottlenecks in the Permian Basin add to pressure from unprecedented levels of US production.

According to Kelty, oil prices will most likely increase again and fluctuate between $80 and $90 but that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russian Federation would increase supply before the price would be allowed to reach the $100 mark.

Output from North Dakota held around 1.2-M BPD, while output in the federal Gulf of Mexico declined 1.1$ to 1.7-M BPD.

USA natural gas production in the lower 48 states rose to an all-time high of 88.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in March, up from the prior record of 87.7 bcfd in February, according to EIA's production report.


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