May 2, 2017 / 12:32 AM / 5 months ago

Oil edges down as Libya output hits highest since 2014

TOKYO, May 2 (Reuters) - Oil prices edged down on Tuesday, as a recovery in Libyan output and rising U.S. supplies raised worries that OPEC-led production cuts may not significantly tighten a bloated market.

Oil has been weighed down by the market’s impatience with the slow pace of inventory drawdown globally, even after major oil producers agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day for the first half of 2017.

London Brent crude for July delivery was down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $51.45 by 0021 GMT, after settling down 53 cents on Monday. Brent crude has risen only around $1 from a one-month low of $50.45 hit on Thursday that came after the restart of two key Libyan oilfields.

NYMEX crude for June delivery was down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $48.74.

Libya’s National Oil Company said production has risen above 760,000 bpd to its highest since December 2014, with plans to keep boosting production.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and participating non-OPEC countries meet on May 25 to discuss whether to extend that reduction.

U.S. drillers added nine oil rigs last week, bringing the count to the most since April 2015, energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday. Crude output C-OUT-T-EIA in the United States is at its highest since August 2015.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday signed an order directing the government to issue a new five-year plan for development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to implement President Donald Trump’s directive to review drilling bans in parts of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans.

U.S. crude inventories likely fell for a fourth straight week, while refined product stockpiles were seen up last week, a preliminary Reuters poll on Monday showed.

Industry group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), is scheduled to release inventory data for the week to April 28 at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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