Oil inches up, but rising Russian output still weighs
U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $63.2 a barrel at 0117 GMT (9.17 p.m. ET), up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous settlement.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose to $67.84 per barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, after it fell more than 2 percent on Monday.
Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader, said traders were wary of the fact that the market was still holding large amounts of long positions which will need to be sold off at some stage, informs Reuters.
Brent reached a 2018 high of $71.28 in January but has since struggled to pass that level. Two rallies last week ran out of steam just above $71.
This came amid rising supplies. Top producer Russia pumped 10.97 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March, up from 10.95 million bpd in February, official data showed, an 11 month high.
One of the key price drivers going forward will be crude output from the United States C-OUT-T-EIA, which has risen by almost a quarter since mid-2016 to 10.43 million bpd, overtaking Saudi Arabia’s and coming in just shy of Russia’s.
A dip in drilling activity for new production could imply that the relentless rise in U.S. production could be tapering off toward the middle of the year.
Weekly official Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, which includes production figures, is due to be published on Wednesday.