OIL PRICES: ABOVE $55
REUTERS - Oil prices rose on Tuesday on forecasts of a steep draw in U.S. crude stocks that could indicate global oversupply is starting to shrink.
Benchmark Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading up 56 cents, or 1 percent, at $55.48 a barrel at 1329 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 29 cents at $52.41 a barrel, not far off a one-week high of $52.52.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected weekly U.S. crude oil inventories to show a draw of 2.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 16.
Stocks fell more than expected in data published last week, lifting expectations for another large drop in this week's data.
A deal to cut global supply among OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck this month has boosted oil prices to 17-month highs. The gains have set up 2016 to be the first year since 2012 in which Brent has risen.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Russian newspaper Vedomosti that Russia may extend a production cut beyond the first half of 2017 if needed.
"We are in a wait-and-see mood after OPEC newsflow caused much volatility," said Frank Klumpp, oil analyst at Stuttgart-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. "The new balance seems to be between $53 and $57 a barrel on Brent for the next weeks."
Asia is seen posting its biggest net additions to refining capacity in three years in 2017, further boosting demand for crude in the world's largest and fastest-growing oil-consuming region.
The increase amounts to roughly an additional 1.5 percent of refining capacity on top of Asia's total installed capacity of nearly 29 million barrels per day.
Still, traders see no outright supply shortage for Asian refineries, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is shielding most of its Asian customers from the planned cuts.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.