Oil prices edged higher on Friday as output cuts by OPEC members met with lingering concern that other producers could try to shirk their share of planned decreases aimed at curbing global oversupply, as reported by Reuters earlier today.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $57.20 per barrel at 1229 GMT (7:29 a.m. ET), meaning the benchmark for international oil prices was up 31 cents from the previous close.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were 29 cents above their last settlement in the US.
ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef commented:
There’s a lot of volatility, or at least changes in direction. People think the long-term trend is up, but after a gain of a few dollars, they take profit.
State oil giant Saudi Aramco has started talks with customers globally on possible cuts of 3% to 7% in February crude loadings.
Overall supply from OPEC in December fell only slightly to 34.18 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 34.38 million bpd in November, according to a Reuters survey this week based on shipping data and information from industry sources.