* Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi are both cutting supplies
* But analysts doubt all producers will implement planned
* Iraq seen as doubtful to fully implement its cuts
(Updates throughout, changes dateline previous SINGAPORE)
By Libby George
LONDON, Jan 6 Oil prices edged higher by
mid-morning on Friday as signs of output cuts by OPEC members
met with lingering concern that other producers could try to
shirk their share of planned decreases aimed at curbing global
Brent crude futures, the benchmark for international
oil prices, were trading at $57.34 per barrel at 1033 GMT, up 45
cents from the previous close.
In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
futures were at $54.19 a barrel, 43 cents above their
Both contracts were largely flat on the week after days of
"There's a lot of volatility, or at least changes in
direction," ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef
said. "People think the long-term trend is up, but after a gain
of a few dollars, they take profit."
Production cuts by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and signs that
it plans further trims have helped buoy the market.
The Kingdom cut oil output in January by at least 486,000
barrels per day (bpd) to 10.058 million bpd, fully implementing
an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) and other producers to curb a global supply
State oil giant Saudi Aramco has started talks with
customers globally on possible cuts of 3 percent to 7 percent in
February crude loadings.
There are also reports of supply cuts from Abu Dhabi.
Still, doubts remained that all producers would fully
implement planned reductions.
"There will be some countries who will cheat...we expect
zero compliance from Baghdad... And we definitely do not expect
the Kurds to join in, given that they are autonomous from the
federal government," Energy Aspects said in its 2017 oil market
outlook, published this week.
Overall supply from OPEC in December fell only slightly to
34.18 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 34.38 million
bpd in November, according to a Reuters survey this week based
on shipping data and information from industry sources.
But OPEC was not the only factor; analysts pointed to a
strong U.S. dollar, which edged back from a 14-year high this
week, and gains in U.S. oil product inventories as holding them
in a relatively narrow range.
(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE and
Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)