OIL PRICES: ABOVE $49 AGAIN
But the rise failed to recoup last week's losses with concerns about rising output from the United States, Libya and Nigeria continuing to weigh.
The industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported a fall in U.S. crude inventories by 5.8 million barrels last week, which was more than the 1.8 million-barrel slide analysts predicted.
Investors are now waiting to see if those numbers are confirmed on Wednesday by official figures on weekly U.S. crude and oil product inventories from the U.S. government's Department of Energy, due out at 1430 GMT.
Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 68 cents at $49.41 a barrel by 1327 GMT (9.27 a.m. ET). U.S. light crude CLc1 oil was 69 cents higher at $46.57 a barrel.
"Oil prices are still finding it difficult to recoup the losses they suffered last week," analysts at Commerzbank said in a note, adding the impact on prices from the fall in U.S. inventories had been underwhelming.
Also supporting prices were comments from Algeria's energy minister on Wednesday that Algeria and Iraq favor extending global supply cuts when OPEC meets later this month.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih said he expected the output deal to be extended to the end of the year or possibly longer.
State-owned Saudi Aramco will also reduce oil supplies to Asian customers by about 7 million barrels in June, a source told Reuters, as part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' deal to reduce production.
Aramco had previously maintained supplies to important Asian customers.
But questions remain about the effectiveness of OPEC-led cuts, with OPEC member Libya saying production now exceeded 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since 2014 and could rise to 1.2 million bpd later this year.
Nigeria, which along with Libya is exempt from OPEC cuts, is also expected to see a jump in output soon as Shell (RDSa.L) tests the Trans Forcados oil export pipeline before it restarts.
Brent and U.S. light crude futures contracts closed on Tuesday at their second lowest levels since Nov. 29, the day before OPEC announced it would cut output in the first half of 2017.
Prices surged after that deal, but have come under pressure in recent weeks as U.S. production has climbed, undermining OPEC-led efforts to balance supply with demand.
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U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.