Oil trades near 3-year high as OPEC affirms cuts

Oil traded near the highest close in more than three years as Iraq echoed a call by the United Arab Emirates and other producers that the OPEC-led output cuts should continue, despite recent price gains.

Futures were little changed in New York after rising 4.7 percent last week. The curbs have contributed to stability in the market and should remain, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Saturday. Yet, Brent crude at $70 a barrel may be giving fresh stimulus to U.S. shale-oil drillers to boost output, according to the International Energy Agency.

Oil has extended gains after a second annual advance as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies curb supply to drain a global glut. Though they have said the historic deal will run until the end of this year, OPEC is “very likely to cut short” the pact if markets become balanced, JP Morgan Securities said in a report.

“In the next 12 months, we see more or less a balanced market,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said in a television interview. “Global oil demand will increase. But a lot of new oil production is coming.” [read more]

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