Investing.com - Oil prices held near the $50-level in European trade on Tuesday, as market participants looked ahead to a key meeting of major oil producers later this week.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on Thursday in Vienna although no dramatic announcement on a production cut is expected.
The oil cartel's most recent meeting in Qatar in April ended without agreement to freeze output at current levels due to Saudi Arabia's insistence that Iran be part of the agreement.
On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery dipped 31 cents, or 0.62%, to trade at $50.05 a barrel by 07:58GMT, or 3:58AM ET, as market players focused on an improving global supply outlook.
According to reports, Iraq plans to ship 5 million extra barrels of crude in June. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and the United Arab Emirates are also planning to increase supplies later this year.
Last Thursday, Brent prices jumped to $50.96, a level not seen since October 12, as unplanned supply disruptions in Nigeria eased concerns over a global glut.
Brent futures prices are up by roughly 85% since briefly dropping below $30 a barrel in mid-February.
Elsewhere, crude oil for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 14 cents, or 0.28%, to trade at $49.47 a barrel, lifted by the start of the peak demand summer driving season in the U.S.
Nymex prices rallied to $50.21 last Thursday, the most since October 9. U.S. crude futures are up nearly 80% since falling to 13-year lows at $26.05 on February 11 as a decline in U.S. shale production boosted sentiment.
According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by two to 316 in the latest reporting week, keeping up a broad trend of declines.
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