OIL PRICE: ABOVE $61
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Oil rose to its highest since mid-2015 on Wednesday as data showed OPEC has significantly improved compliance with its pledged supply cuts and Russia is also widely expected to keep to the deal.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 59 cents at $61.53 per barrel at 0905 GMT, having hit a session peak of $61.70 earlier, the highest since July 2015.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 a barrel, up 74 cents.
The oil price gained 7 percent in October, marking the fourth consecutive month of gains.
"The bulls have it and momentum is strong," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.
"We know how oil can easily run ahead of what is fundamentally justified and we've seen that in both directions in the last couple of years," he said. "We really need to see demand growth pick up even more strongly than what is currently expected for the bullish outlook for to be maintained."
Optimism has been fueled by an effort this year lead by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil production to tighten markets.
OPEC's October output fell by 80,000 bpd to 32.78 million bpd, putting adherence to its pledged supply curbs at 92 percent, up from September's 86 percent.
Analysts and traders expect Russia to stick to its agreement to curb its oil output by 300,000 bpd from 11.247 million bpd reached in October 2016.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are considering extending the agreement to potentially cover all of next year.
Should participants after that return to full capacity and U.S. output also grow, a supply glut could return.
"We could rapidly ... go from a predicted deficit of around 260,000 barrels to a surplus of close to 1.5 million barrels. Prices would undoubtedly collapse," said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services.
Another factor will be U.S. output, which has risen by almost 13 percent since mid-2016 to 9.5 million bpd.
"U.S. crude oil production is 410,000 bpd below the April 2015 peak of 9.62 million bpd. We expect production to surpass this level before year-end," Barclays bank said.
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BLOOMBERG - As Saudi Arabia led OPEC’s output cuts this year to shrink a global glut, it’s lost out on market share in the world’s biggest energy consumer. Russia in September retained the top Chinese supplier spot for the seventh straight month, while the kingdom was third.
PLATTS - The quality of Russia's key Urals crude exports towards Europe will continue to fall next year as more of the country's low-sulfur oil flows are diverted eastward to China, Russian national oil pipeline operator Transneft warned.
FT - OCI — the world’s third-largest polysilicon maker by capacity and South Korea’s biggest — this month reported a 3,373 per cent increase in operating profit to Won78.7bn ($72m) for the July-September quarter, its best performance in five years. Rival Hanwha Chemical saw third-quarter net profit jump 25 per cent to a record Won252bn.
U.S. Rig Count is up 330 rigs from last year's count of 593, with oil rigs up 273, gas rigs up 58, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 0. Canada Rig Count is up 41 rigs from last year's count of 174, with oil rigs up 13, gas rigs up 30, and miscellaneous rigs down 2 to 2.