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Oil prices firm on indications of U.S. production slowdown

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices firmed on Monday, based on a slowdown in new rigs searching for crude and a solid idea of strong demand.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $49.08 per barrel at 0126 GMT, up 17 cents, or .35 %, using their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.70 per barrel, up 16 cents, or .34 percent.

Both crudes extended gains from the strong previous week.

Traders and analysts stated the increasing prices were a direct result strong demand in addition to signs that the relentless climb in U.S. oil production was slowing lower.

“Last week’s strong use U.S. oil inventories was based on comments in the IEA that demand keeps growing more powerful compared to what they had initially believed … The relentless climb in drill rigs operating within the U.S. also subsided,” ANZ bank stated on Monday.

U.S. drillers added two oil rigs within the week to This summer 14, getting the entire total to 765, energy services firm Baker Hughes stated on Friday.

While that’s the greatest level since April 2015, the speed of individuals additions has slowed. Rig additions in the last four days averaged five, the cheapest since November 2016.

“Because of the usual time lag between cost signal and drilling decision, the approaching month, that also features the E&P (exploration and production) earning season, is going to be key,” stated U.S. bank Goldman Sachs (New york stock exchange:GS).

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