Oil prices edged up Thursday after the International Energy Agency said oil markets had been tightening even before cuts agreed by global oil producers took effect.

Global oil supplies fell by more than 0.6 million barrels per day in December, to 97.6 million barrels per day on lower Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC output, the agency said in its latest oil market report.

OPEC crude production, now excluding Indonesia, fell 320,000 barrels per day from record rates to 33.09 million barrels per day in December after lower Saudi output and disruptions in Nigeria curbed supply, according to the report.

Early indications suggest a deeper OPEC reduction may be under way for January, as Saudi Arabia and its neighbors enforce supply cuts, the report said.

Prices fell to session lows after U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected increase in crude inventories last week.

U.S. commercial crude inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels in the week through Jan. 13 to 485.5 million barrels, well above market expectations, said the administration.

The West Texas Intermediate for February Delivery added 0.29 dollars to settle at 51.37 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery increased 0.24 dollars to close at 54.16 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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