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Oil trades near US$60 a barrel as US drillers add onshore rigs

Monday, May 25, 2015 - 07:37
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Oil held near US$60 a barrel as US drillers increased activity for the first time in six months.

[MELBOURNE] Oil held near US$60 a barrel as US drillers increased activity for the first time in six months.

Futures advanced as much as 0.6 per cent in New York after falling 1.7 per cent on Friday. The number of onshore rigs rose by three to 853, the first gain since Nov 21, data from Baker Hughes Inc. showed. Total machines targeting oil in the US fell by one. Venezuela is working with Opec members to boost prices, President Nicolas Maduro said in a national address.

Oil's rebound from a six-year low has faltered near US$60 a barrel this month amid speculation that rising prices will encourage US production. The nation's crude stockpiles remain close to the highest level in 85 years, even as output slips, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

West Texas Intermediate for July delivery rose as much as 34 cents to US$60.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$59.94 at 9.04am Sydney time. The contract slid US$1 to US$59.72 on Friday. The volume of all futures traded was about 90 per cent below the 100-day average. Prices have increased 13 per cent this year.

Brent for July settlement gained 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$65.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of US$5.62 to WTI.

BLOOMBERG