Oil prices eased on Thursday as U.S. fuel inventories rose despite efforts by OPEC to cut production and tighten the market.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $51.08 per barrel at 0014 GMT, down 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $56.65, down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, from the previous close.
Starting this year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia have agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices.
The OPEC-led deal has helped lift oil from the $30-$40 per barrel range in late 2016/early 2017, but analysts say that supplies remain ample despite these cuts, thanks in large part to surging U.S. production , forcing OPEC to potentially extend the cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018. Read More…