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Oil prices mixed but expected output increase drags
[SEOUL] Oil prices were mixed in early Asian trading on Tuesday, but remained under pressure from expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia would pump more crude to ease a potential shortfall in supply.
Brent crude futures were up 57 US cents, or 0.76 per cent, at US$75.87 a barrel at 0028 GMT, after settling at their lowest since May 8 at US$75.30.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 80 US cents, or 1.18 per cent, at US$67.08 a barrel. It finished the last session at its lowest closing price since April 17 at US$66.47 per barrel.
"Investors have started pricing in the likelihood of Saudi Arabia and Russia increasing crude oil production," ANZ Bank said in a note.
"However, doubt remains, with any agreement to be finalised at the June Opec meeting."
Concerns that Saudi Arabia and Russia could boost output have put downward pressures on oil prices, along with rising oil production in the United States.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have discussed raising Opec and non-Opec oil production by some 1 million barrels per day to make up potential supply shortfalls from Venezuela and Iran.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) are due to meet in Vienna on June 22.
Meanwhile, record crude oil volumes from the United States would head to Asia in coming months, nibbling away the market share of Opec and Russia.
US oil production has surged by more than 27 per cent in the last two years to 10.73 million barrels per day (bpd). That puts the United States ahead of top exporter Saudi Arabia, and only Russia pumps out more, at around 11 million bpd.