* Strong global economy also supports oil market
* U.S. drillers cut rigs to 747 in week to Jan. 19, down
* But analysts say oil demand to slow in Q1 2018
* Libya's As-Sarah oilfield restart to add 55,000 bpd
(Changes dateline from SINGAPORE, updates prices, adds quote)
By Julia Payne
LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Crude futures edged higher on
Monday, propped up by comments from Saudi Arabia that
cooperation between oil producers who have cut production to
boost prices would continue beyond 2018.
Strong global economic growth coupled with a drop in U.S.
drilling activity and the dollar also supported crude, traders
said, while additional Libyan output capped further gains.
Brent crude futures were at $68.69 a barrel at 1008
GMT, up 8 cents from their last close. Brent on Jan. 15 rose to
$70.37, its highest since December 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were
at $63.50 a barrel, up 13 cents. WTI climbed to $64.89 on Jan.
16, also its highest since December 2014.
"A weak dollar and the weekend JMMC (oil producers meeting)
are supporting prices but the restart of As-Sarah in Libya is
serving as a brake on the rally," said Tamas Varga, analyst at
PVM oil brokerage.
Production at Wintershall's As-Sarah concession in eastern
Libya resumed on Sunday and was expected to add 55,000 barrels
per day (bpd) by Monday. Libya's oil production has been
fluctuating around 1 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and de-facto
leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,
said on Sunday major oil producers agreed that they should
continue cooperating on production after their deal on supply
cuts expires this year.
"There is a readiness to continue cooperation beyond 2018
... The mechanism hasn't been determined yet, but there is a
consensus to continue," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih
said in Oman.
U.S. drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Jan. 19,
bringing the count down to 747, energy services firm Baker
Hughes said on Friday.
Despite this, the rig count in 2017 and early this year
remains much higher than in 2016, resulting in a 16 percent rise
in U.S. production <C-OUT-T-EIA> since mid-2016, to 9.75 million
Beyond supplies, strong global economic growth was also
supporting oil prices.
"During the last four quarters, the underlying global growth
dynamic began to shift ... Global growth has become synchronised
and accelerated above trend," U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said over
the weekend in a note.
Despite the well-supported market, analysts warned oil had
lost some steam since last week.
Bernstein Energy said on Monday that oil inventories might
start rising soon due to a slowdown in demand that typically
happens at the end of the northern hemisphere winter.
(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore;
Editing by Dale Hudson)
First Published: 2018-01-22 03:05:25
Updated 2018-01-22 12:27:17
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