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Oil prices fall on rising U.S. rig count, pressure on OPEC-led supply cuts

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* U.S. rig count rises to 854 -Baker Hughes

* U.S. Wood River refinery outage weighs on WTI

* Rosneft pressures Putin to end supply cuts with OPEC

* But U.S. sanctions against Venezuela support crude prices

* U.S. oil drilling & production levels: https://tmsnrt.rs/2S87iVI (Adds U.S. refinery shutdown, updates prices)

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Crude prices fell by around 1percent on Monday as U.S. drilling activity picked up and asRussia's biggest oil producer pressured President Vladimir Putinto end the supply cut deal with Middle East-dominated producerclub OPEC.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 wereat $52.16 per barrel at 0103 GMT, down 56 cents, or 1 percent,from their last settlement.

WTI prices were also weighed down by the closure of a120,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) atPhillips 66's PSX.NWood River, Illinois, refinery following afire on Sunday.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down 53cents, or 0.9 percent, at $61.57 a barrel.

In the United States, energy firms last week increased thenumber of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks,a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Companies added 7 oil rigs in the week to Feb. 8, bringingthe total count to 854, pointing to a further rise in U.S. crudeproduction, which already stands at a record 11.9 million bpd. C-OUT-T-EIA

Elsewhere, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft ROSN.MM ,Igor Sechin, has written to the Russian President Vladimir Putinsaying Moscow's deal with the Organization of the PetroleumExporting Countries (OPEC) to withhold output is a strategicthreat and plays into the hands of the United States.

The so-called OPEC+ deal has been in place since 2017, aimedat reining in a global supply overhang. It has been extendedseveral times and, under the latest deal, participants arecutting output by 1.2 million bpd until the end of June.

OPEC and its allies will meet on April 17-18 in Vienna toreview the pact.

Preventing crude prices from falling much further have beenU.S. sanctions on Venezuela, targetting its state-owned oil firmPDVSA.

"The issues in Venezuela continue to support prices. Reportsare emerging that PDVSA is scrambling to secure new markets forits crude, after the U.S. placed additional sanctions on thecountry," ANZ bank said on Monday.

henning.gloystein@thomsonreuters.com


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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