OPEC says US oil production to rise again in 2018


Iran is pushing for prices at $60 a barrel, where Mr. Zanganeh says US oil production will remain under control and not flood the market.

"Oil prices moved lower. after (the) Energy Information Administration published a report that crude production from seven major US shale plays is expected to see a climb", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

U.S. crude stocks rose by 5 million barrels, the biggest jump since late January, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Gasoline futures surged 1% as stockpiles sank the most since September.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 25 cents, or 0.41%, to $60.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Diesel futures rose 1.32 cents, or 0.7%, to $1.8871 a gallon.

Healthy demand and ongoing supply restraint by a group or producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation, however, have so far prevented further price falls.

Recently, a slew of USA shale firms predicted higher production this year as oil prices rebound.

USA production growth is still expected at 2.7 percent in 2018, up from 2.3 percent in 2017.

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"This U.S. shale engine is not expected to run out of steam anytime soon, " said Stephen Brennock, analyst at brokerage PVM.

China beat forecasts with a 7.2 percent year-on-year rise in industrial output in the first two months of 2018, while data showed Chinese crude output fell 1.9 percent.

"The current healthy momentum in the global economy, together with the efforts undertaken by the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries.is supporting the rebalancing of the oil market fundamentals", the report said.

"Nevertheless, even with crude prices at the higher end of the new $45-$65 range in early 2018, we expect prices to stay within this range over the medium term amid better balance between increased production and growth in demand", Marshall noted.

Oil futures for April delivery have slipped below the May contract in recent days, which could be a bearish signal that discourages more investment. It also makes it costly for investors to roll their positions from one month to the next.

-Summer Said and Christopher Alessi contributed to this article.