Oil Prices Rise on Signs of U.S. Shale Cutback

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By Jacob Maslow

Oil prices went up in European trade on Tuesday, with futures for West Texas Intermediate rising above the $34-level amid indications of a production cutback by U.S. shale oil drillers.

The price for Crude oil slated for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange surged to a peak of $34.32 per barrel before settling to $34.22 by 2:55AM ET. That’s equivalent to a $0.47, or 1.39% increase.

On Monday, oil futures soared $0.97, or 2.96%, after data showed indications of reduced U.S. drilling activity.

In related news, crude market players are eagerly awaiting the release of American Petroleum Institute’s inventories report, which is due to be made public later today as investors look for more good news following a Reuters survey, which revealed that OPEC’s crude supply dropped slightly in February, fueling hopes of a turnaround to the 20-month spiral where prices have declined by more than 70% from previous highs of $115 per barrel.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, prices for Brent oil slated for May delivery rose $0.37, or 1.01%, to trade at $36.96 per barrel after peaking of $37.06 earlier in the day. Tuesday’s rise is the highest in 55 days.

Meanwhile, Brent’s premium to the West Texas Intermediate crude contract traded at $2.74 a barrel, lower than Monday’s closing price of $2.82.

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