SEOUL, March 17 Oil prices edged up on Friday as
a drawdown in U.S. crude inventory eased concerns about a global
Brent crude was up 7 cents, or 0.14 percent, at
$51.81 per barrel at 0021 GMT, after closing the previous
session down 7 cents at $51.74.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 11
cents, or 0.23 percent, at $48.86 a barrel.
Official data showed crude inventories in the United
States, the world's top oil consumer, fell last week as imports
plunged, dropping after nine consecutive increases.
Crude stockpiles fell by 237,000 barrels in the week to
March 10, beating analyst expectations for an increase of 3.7
"Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih continued to
express concern about high global inventories," ANZ said in a
note. "However, he did reiterate that the market is currently
going in the right direction and fundamentals had improved."
If crude inventories remain high, the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could extend its oil output
cut deal, the Saudi energy minister said on Thursday.
OPEC and non-OPEC members including Russia reached a
landmark agreement last year to cut output by almost 1.8 million
barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017.
But OPEC's monthly report showed global oil inventories
increased in January to 278 million barrels above the five-year
(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford)