OIL PRICE: ABOVE $51
Brent crude futures were down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $51.41 per barrel at 0651 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $48.94 per barrel.
Both benchmarks rose to their highest levels since May 31 in the previous session, buoyed by a rally in U.S. gasoline futures after earlier support from OPEC's latest efforts to cut exports and a sharp fall in U.S. crude inventories.
"Crude oil prices rose further as the focus remained on fundamentals. This week's better-than-expected inventory drawdown in the United States continued to support prices," ANZ bank said in a note.
U.S. crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week to July 21 due to strong refining activity and an increase in exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"Following seasonal norms we expect further declines in crude inventories over August and September," BMI Research said.
Brimming U.S. crude supplies have been a challenge to production cuts to prop up prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
U.S. crude oil production has been on the rise since mid-2016, but it dropped to 9.41 barrels per day (bpd) in the week to July 21, from 9.43 million bpd the week before. The decline was mainly due to a fall in Alaskan output, ANZ bank said.
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, said the market would watch U.S. rig count data for further signs of slowing drilling activity, as well as potential U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector.
"Both developments should be bullish for oil," he said.
Oil prices have been supported by a further agreement between OPEC and some non-OPEC members to limit Nigerian oil output and encourage several members to comply with their pledged production cuts.
Since the world's major oil producers held a meeting in St Petersburg on Monday, crude prices have risen some 6 percent on expectations of deepening cuts.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, said it planned to cap crude exports to 6.6 million bpd in August, about 1 million bpd below the level last year.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 30 cents to $50.50 a barrel by 0959 GMT, after rallying more than 3 percent on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 climbed 40 cents to $48.29 a barrel.
Министерский комитет рассмотрел отчет Совместного технического комитета (СТК) и отметил, что рынок нефти уверенно делает шаги в сторону восстановления равновесия. По мнению экспертов, продолжается оздоровление мирового нефтяного рынка: за последние недели волатильность рынка снизилась, и поток инвестиций в нефтяную промышленность заметно увеличился.
В прямом эфире телеканала «Россия 24» Министр энергетики Российской Федерации Александр Новак подвел итоги 4-ого заседания Министерского комитета по мониторингу исполнения соглашения о сокращении добычи нефти стран ОПЕК и не-ОПЕК.
Brent September crude futures fell 18 cents on the day to $47.88 a barrel by 0850 GMT. The price fell 2.5 percent on Friday after a consultancy forecast a rise in OPEC production for July. NYMEX crude for September delivery fell 20 cents to $45.57 a barrel.
With prices still languishing below the $55-$60/b that some ministers have said they are targeting, some market watchers say OPEC and its non-OPEC partners have no choice but to deepen cuts to make up for output gains from exempt Nigeria and Libya, as well as sliding compliance from other members.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were at $49.28 per barrel 0501 GMT, down 2 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.89 per barrel, down 3 cents.
Fitch Ratings anticipates most investment-grade and 'BB' category U.S. E&P companies will see minimal ratings changes in a steady $45 per barrel environment as the realization of further production efficiency gains and lower costs per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) should contribute to resilient margins and cash flow.
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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.