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Oil edges up toward $49

A woman wears visual reality glasses at the British Petroleum (BP) stand on July 11, 2017 during 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. Oil major bosses and energy ministers are meeting at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, with the outlook clouded by the low price of crude oil, currently trading at around 45 dollars a barrel compared with a peak of over 145 dollars in 2008. (AFP / OZAN KOSE)
NEW YORK: Oil prices were little changed on Monday as output increases in some top producers eased, but investors continued to await strong indications that the effort led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to drain a glut was proving effective.
Libya’s national oil production stands at 1.03 million barrels per day (bpd), little changed from its level since the end of last month, an oil industry official said.
US drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. Rig additions over the past four weeks averaged five, the slowest pace of growth since November.
Key technical indicators are bullish, with prices rising above the short-term 50-day moving averages, traders said.
Brent crude fell 24 cents to $48.67 a barrel by 11:51 a.m. EDT (1551 GMT). US crude traded at $46.21, down 33 cents. Prices had earlier touched their highest since July 5.
A sharp drop in US crude inventories in the week to July 7 supported prices last week. But crude stocks in industrialized nations remained high, putting a brake on the oil price rally.
US gasoline margins rose to the highest since April 24 amid signs of improved demand and inventory declines, traders said.
Oil prices are less than half their mid-2014 level because of a persistent glut, even after OPEC with Russia and other non-OPEC producers cut supplies since January.
While OPEC-led cuts have offered prices some support, rising supplies from Nigeria along with Libya, two OPEC states exempt from the pact, and increasing US production have weighed on the market.

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