* Financial traders pour new cash into crude long positions
* But physical oil markets remain bloated
* U.S. drilling for new oil rises for record 21 weeks
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, June 12 Oil prices rose early on
Monday as futures traders bet the market may have bottomed after
a recent steep fall, even as physical markets remain bloated by
oversupply, especially from a relentless rise in U.S. drilling.
Brent crude futures were trading at $48.44 per
barrel at 0101 GMT, up 29 cents, or 0.6, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were
at $46.09 per barrel, up 26 cents, or 0.6 percent.
Traders said that the price rises came on the back of
speculative traders upping their investment into crude futures,
by taking on large volumes of long positions, which would profit
from a further price rise.
The rise in new long positions comes after Brent and WTI
crude futures have fallen by around 10 percent below their
opening levels on May 25, when an OPEC-led policy to cut oil
output was extended to cover the first quarter of 2018 instead
of expiring this June.
While the financial market seems to have some confidence
that prices may have bottomed out, the physical market remains
bloated, especially due to a rise in U.S. drilling for new oil
U.S. energy firms added eight oil rigs in the week to June
9, bringing the total count up to 741, the most since April
2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc BHI.N said on
This ongoing drive to find new oil has driven up U.S. output
by more than 10 percent since mid-2016, to over 9.3 million bpd,
a figure the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says
will likely rise above 10 million bpd by next year, challenging
top exporter Saudi Arabia.
Soaring U.S. output threatens to undermine an effort led by
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to
cut almost 1.8 million bpd of production until the first quarter
of 2018 in order to tighten markets and prop up prices.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)