mcx crude Oil prices were modestly lower during North American morning hours on Monday, reversing earlier gains as prospects of rising U.S. production weighed on the market. News that the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on some Iranian individuals and entities, days after the White House put Tehran “on notice” over a ballistic missile test, supported gains. Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by 17 last week, the 13th gain in 14 weeks. That brought the total count to 583, the most since November 2015. The data raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand. Futures have been trading in a narrow range around the mid-$50s over the past month as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production. January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months. The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.
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