World oil prices on the rise

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Earlier in the week, Brent rose to $64.65 a barrel, its highest since June 2015, and WTI rose to $57.92, its highest since July 2015.

Oil prices, which hit 2-1/2 year highs this week, have rallied by more than 30 per cent since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers agreed to limit production from January 2017.

Nationwide stockpiles fell 4.6 million barrels last week to the lowest level since October 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration Thursday.

Although U.S. shale drillers are now exhibiting restraint, speculation is rising that they will put more rigs into operation next year as oil strengthens: Gene McGillian, a market research manager at Tradition Energy, pointed out that "With that partially offsetting production cuts by OPEC and Russian Federation, the market will have to get confirmation that global inventories will keep coming down".

Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. While this puts the company in dire straits when the discount is as large as it is today, it also gives the stock higher leverage to rising oil prices.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 20 cents to $59.84 a barrel.

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Specifically, slightly more than half the survey's respondents expect the rig count to continue to climb six months from now, but almost all said oil above $60 will be needed for a substantial increase.

International-benchmark Brent crude oil and U.S.

United States output has surged overall this year, hitting a 46-year high in October when producers pumped 9.6 million barrels a day, according to federal data. Inventories declined 1% week-over-week and 54.2 MMbbls or 11.15% year-over-year.

Strong OPEC compliance with the supply pact should lend support to prices, analysts said.

Trading was typically thin at year end, with many traders on vacation. While gains were driven by glut-shrinking output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East as well as pipeline disruptions from the North Sea to Canada and Libya have also helped.

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