Crude Oil Stuck Below $60 On US Shale Boom

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Russian, Saudi energy ministers discuss oil cooperation

The OPEC-led plan, which the participants agreed to extend through the end of this year, helped to boost Brent by more than 50% in the second half of 2017 to around $70 a barrel, even as the price rise motivated shale producers in the U.S.to ramp up production.

Nigeria will refocus on oil projects that deliver higher returns to keep production within the limits set by OPEC, oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said late Tuesday.

It was back then that the US was last producing more than 10 million barrels per day, and it only did so briefly.

Rising oil prices and surging USA crude exports raise concerns that Russian energy giants will try to exit the deal, which began in 2017 and runs through 2018.

Crude oil futures were steady Tuesday, but unable to recoup recent losses.

The Saudi energy ministry said on Wednesday that Saudi Aramco's crude output in March will be 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) below its February level while exports would be kept below 7 million bpd.

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Russia is cutting 300,000 bpd as part of the pact with OPEC, and although there have been voices and speculation that some Russian companies are unhappy with the agreement that hampers their production expansion plans, Moscow has been keeping its end of the deal so far. Production growth is expected to be mainly in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And environmentalists argue that the process - known as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing technology - may contaminate ground water and even cause small earthquakes.

The U.S. Dollar Index rose 1.5% last week.

Most forecasters assume the rapid rise in US production will continue for the foreseeable future.

"We expect oil prices to continue to drift lower by the end of year".

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 1.050 million barrels of crude oil, along with a draw in gasoline inventories of 227,000 barrels.

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It sees the price of brent reaching $75 per barrel within three months, lifting its short-term oil price projection from the previous $62 forecast.

Crude edged lower after an industry report was said to show USA crude and gasoline inventories are continuing to expand.

Turning to the outlook for global oil demand, OPEC predicted that it would continue to grow this year as economic recovery gathers pace.

Secondly, geopolitical factors have also played a role both tangibly and intangibly.

The IEA said in its closely-watched report published that USA producers are having a good time watching a second step towards development so exceptional that in 2018 their growth in liquids production could uniform demand growth.

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