February 26, 2018 / 12:02 AM / 3 months ago

Oil steady near 2-week high as Saudi to keep export curbs

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Oil prices held little changed near two-week highs early on Monday, supported by comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to curb exports in line with the OPEC-led effort to cut global supplies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was up 2 cents at $63.57 a barrel by 2340 GMT, after rising 3 percent last week.

London Brent crude eased 4 cents to $67.27, after gaining nearly 4 percent last week.

Saudi Arabia hopes OPEC and its allies will be able to relax production curbs next year and create a permanent framework to stabilise oil markets after the current supply cut deal ends this year, its oil minister said on Saturday in New Delhi.

In January-March, Saudi Arabia’s oil production would be well below the production cap, with exports averaging below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia have been cutting output to support oil prices.

U.S. energy companies last week added one oil rig, the fifth weekly increase in a row, bringing the total count up to 799, the highest level since April 2015, Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

Hedge funds and money managers upped their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil for the first time in four weeks, data showed on Friday.

Libya’s National Oil Corp said on Saturday it had declared force majeure on the 70,000 bpd El Feel oilfield after a protest by guards closed the field. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; editing by Richard Pullin)

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