Oil prices fall on relentless rise in United States crude output

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Despite the lower rig count, which is an early indicator of future output, activity remains much higher than a year ago when, when just 617 rigs were active, and most analysts expect U.S. crude oil production, which has already risen by over a fifth since mid-2016, to 10.37 million barrels per day (bpd), to rise further. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.6% at $61.70 a barrel.

"Oil prices fell on the back of concerns that surging US production. could push inventories in the USA higher", ANZ bank said on Tuesday.

Oil prices fell on Monday as investors grappled with ongoing concerns over rising USA output and tight Opec supply, while last week's data showing speculators cut bets on oil suggested more selling could be seen. "That figure was close to in line with the February average weekly increase of 91,000 [barrels a day] and is still more than four times greater than the pace of production growth in 2017", said Tyler Richey, co-editor of the Sevens Report.

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The rising US output comes largely on the back of onshore shale oil production.

Crude oil prices reached $65 on Monday after a drop in prices earlier in the year.

US production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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On one side is Saudi Arabia, which wants oil prices at $70 a barrel or higher, and on the other is Iran, which wants them around $60.

According to Baker Hughes energy services firm, United States energy companies cut oil rigs for the first time in nearly two months, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796.

Hedge funds and money managers pared their bullish wagers on US crude oil, with long positions falling last week for the first time in three weeks. The most bullish scenario will be a weaker U.S. Dollar and higher equity prices.

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