Oil nears $55 at 16-month high as OPEC deal fuels buying

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.05, or 2 percent, to $50.74 per barrel.

Futures slid as much as 1.7 percent in NY after advancing 15 percent over the previous four sessions.

Oil prices have climbed above $51 a barrel after OPEC agreed on Wednesday to reduce the group's output by 1.2 million barrels a day by January, while Russian Federation pledged a cut of as much as 300,000.

"This is Opec's first production cut in eight years and the first in 15 years that non-Opec Russia will also join production..."

"Most of the position adjustments that the OPEC decision forced upon traders have now run their course and it leaves the market exposed to profit taking", said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank, citing surveys pointing to record production from OPEC during November.

The Automobile Association (AA) says Thursday's price rise was not because of the spike in oil prices due to the OPEC deal.

Barkindo said OPEC has invited non-OPEC countries Russia, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Brunei to a meeting on December 10 to discuss their contribution. Prices rose 12 percent last week.

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Brent futures, the global benchmark used to trade oil, soared to their highest since July 2015 at $55.33 a barrel.

USA crude for January delivery CLc1 was up 40 cents at $51.24 a barrel.

"The extent to which the announced plans will be carried out and actually reduce supply below levels that would have occurred in their absence remains uncertain", the report said.

But analysts said that based on the figures provided, the actual production ceiling appears to be 32.68 million barrels a day (bpd), which is nearly 200,000 bpd higher than the new target.

Meantime, expectations are that gasoline prices will also rise in 2017, though by a smaller margin than diesel and crude oil.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq plan to supply full contracted volumes of crude to Asia in January, despite the cut commitments.

Previous production cut deals have been made in the past, it remains to be seen if members will follow through on the cuts, as well as the impacts on oil production in non-member nations, including Russia, Canada, and the U.S.


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