By Sara Israfilbayova
World oil prices fluctuate on Monday close to record values for many years due to a decrease in the number of drilling rigs in the U.S. However, the fears of increased production in the U.S. limit the level of prices.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.50 a barrel 6 cents above their last settlement, Brent crude futures were at $67.66 a barrel, 4 cents above their last close, Reuters reported.
In the U.S., according to the data released by Baker Hughes on Friday 5, the number of drilling rigs fell by 5 to 742, for the week that ended on January 5.
However, optimism was limited by the forecast that oil production in the U.S. will soon exceed 10 million barrels per day, mainly due to an increase in the production of shale oil.
The increase in oil production in the U.S. can offset the efforts of OPEC countries and other producers, including Russia, to restore the balance between supply and demand.
“The U.S. oil price is now into a range that is anticipated to attract increased shale oil production,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, CMC Markets reported.
“Traders may decide that discretion is the better part of valor while markets wait on evidence of what happens to the rig count and production levels over the next couple of months.”
In December 2016, OPEC countries and other major oil producers, including Russia, agreed to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day. After the first extension, the agreement expired at the end of March 2018, but in November 30 last year, the major oil producers agreed to extend it again - until the end of 2018.
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