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Oil Continues to Trade Below $50 a Barrel
USAgNet - 03/17/2017

Oil traded near $49 a barrel as Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih expressed concern about high global inventories a day after the U.S. reported its stockpiles declined for the first time this year.

Futures traded in a $1.17-a-barrel range. Bloomberg News reports OPEC and non-OPEC producers may extend an agreement to reduce output past June if supplies remain above average levels, Al-Falih said.

U.S. stockpiles slipped 0.04 percent last week from the record, and output rose. Iraq plans to boost production to 5 million barrels a day by year’s end, Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said Wednesday at a briefing in Basra.

Oil broke below $50 a barrel on March 9 for the first time since December as rising U.S. supplies made up for some of the output reductions pledged by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to rebalance the market. An Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries report Tuesday showed Saudi Arabia’s production rebounded above 10 million barrels a day in February, though it remains below the ceiling set under the six-month deal that started Jan. 1.

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