MTECHTIPS-Crude settled lower on Thursday, as concerns over rising U.S. oil production offset bullish comments from oil producers on a possible extension to the OPEC-led deal to cut global supply. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery shed 17 cents to settle at $50.27 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 3 cents to trade at $52.96 a barrel. In what was a volatile trading session, oil prices whipped in and out of positive territory but eventually settled lower, despite bullish comments from OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait concerning a possible extension to the OPEC-led deal to cut global supply. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said “there is consensus building [concerning a possible extension to the OPEC-led deal] but it’s not done yet”. In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The deal to cut supply came into effect in January this year for a period of six-months until June. OPEC members are scheduled to meet in Vienna on May 25. Rising U.S. oil production remained a concern for market participants, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported U.S. crude inventories fell less than expected for the week ended April 12. The glut in U.S. inventories came a day after the EIA’s monthly Drilling Productivity report showed U.S. shale production was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels a day in May.
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