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Oil markets firm on Middle East tensions, but US drilling caps gains

From Reuters - November 12, 2017

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil markets opened the week cautiously on Monday amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East and after a rising rig count in the United States suggested producers there are preparing to increase output.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $63.64 per barrel at 0049 GMT, up 12 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $56.87 per barrel, up 13 cents from its last settlement.

Traders said crude prices were generally well supported as ongoing output cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia have contributed to a significant reduction in excess supplies that have been dogging markets since 2014.

Tensions in the Middle East raised the prospects of supply disruptions, traders said.

Bahrain said over the weekend that an explosion which caused a fire at its main oil pipeline on Friday was caused by sabotage, linking the attack to Iran, which denied any role in the incident.

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