* OPEC lobbies for extension to cut output beyond H1 2017
* Relentless rise in U.S. output undermines OPEC efforts
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, April 28 Oil prices stabilised on
Friday but were on track for a second straight weekly loss on
concerns that an OPEC-led production cut has failed to
significantly tighten an oversupplied market.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures
were trading at $49.21 per barrel at 0036 GMT, up 24 cents, or
0.5 percent, from their last close. However, WTI is still set
for a small weekly loss and is down more than 8 percent from its
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for
oil prices, were at $51.59 per barrel, up 15 cents, or 0.3
percent. Brent is almost 9 percent below its April peak and is
also on track for a second week of declines.
Traders said that Friday's slight rises came on the back of
statements by OPEC that it was keen to find a deal that would
ensure a drawdown of excess global fuel supplies, which have
weighed on markets for over two years.
Such a deal would likely mean an extension of a pledge by
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and
other producers including Russia to cut output by almost 1.8
million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year.
Despite this, ANZ bank said on Friday that "traders remained
worried about increasing supply."
This is largely due to a persistent rise in U.S. crude oil
production C-OUT-T-EIA, which has risen by 10 percent since
mid-2016 to 9.27 million bpd, to levels last seen during the
height of the oil glut between late 2014 and early 2016.
And analysts expect U.S. production to keep rising this
Consultancy Rystad Energy expects U.S. shale oil output to
grow by 100,000 bpd each month for the rest of this year and
into 2018, well above estimates by the U.S. Energy Information
Administration for monthly gains of about 29,000 bpd in 2017 and
57,000 bpd in 2018.
"We see a risk for a weaker oil price towards the end of the
year... because shale is delivering so much oil and OPEC might
fight back," Jarand Rystad told Reuters earlier this week.
Outside the United States, rising output in Libya, an
OPEC-member exempt from the cuts, was adding to plentiful
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)