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HomeenergyUS crude ticks up 2 cents, settling at $56.76, as geopolitical tension...

US crude ticks up 2 cents, settling at $56.76, as geopolitical tension offsets rising US output

  • Tensions in the Middle East raise the risk of supply disruptions.
  • However, increases in U.S. oil drilling capped prices.

A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Co. near Guthrie, Oklahoma.Nick Oxford | Reuters

Oil prices held steady in a tight range Monday, with support from Middle East tensions and record long bets by fund managers balanced by rising U.S. production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended Monday's session up 2 cents to $56.76. Brent crude futures fell 29 cents to $63.23 a barrel by 2:24 p.m. ET (1824 GMT), having gained 14 percent so far this month.

Middle East tensions have supported the market, despite concerns that output could rise further.

"The rise by Saudi Arabia to produce more than 10 million barrels per day would have registered more," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital. "This is a new level of geopolitical risk," he said. Additionally, the market has less supply overhang than it did a year ago, he said.

On the supply side, tensions in the Middle East raised the prospect of disruptions, traders said. A purge this month of Saudi Arabia's leadership by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is one of the key factors raising concerns about political stability of the region's largest oil producer.

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