* 12th weekly rise in U.S. drilling activity caps rises
* U.S. oil output could rise by 215,000 bpd in 2017- Goldman
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, April 10 Oil prices were firm on
Monday, supported by strong demand and political uncertainty in
Syria, although another rise in U.S. drilling activity kept a
lid on gains.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for
oil, were at $55.39 per barrel at 0109 GMT, up 15 cents, or 0.3
percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were
up 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $52.48 a barrel.
Traders said prices were being supported by strong demand,
and also political uncertainty following the U.S. missile air
strikes on Syria late last week.
ANZ bank said on Monday that strong oil demand and "an
unsettled global backdrop (is) leaving the market very finely
However, another increase in U.S. oil drilling, which has
run up for 12 straight weeks to 672 rigs - the highest level
since August 2015, kept markets from breaking last week's
one-month highs of over $56 per barrel.
U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said following the rig data release
that year-on-year U.S. oil production "would rise by 215,000
barrels per day in 2017" once a backlog of production waiting to
be brought back online was taken into account.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)