Oil prices edge down ahead of production cuts

SEOUL: Oil prices edged down on Wednesday in quiet early Asian trading as the market waits to see how Opec and non-Opec members carry through on planned supply cuts in the new year.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 13 cents at $53.77 at 0021 GMT after settling up 88 cents at $53.9 a barrel in the previous session. WTI prices have risen 25 per cent since mid-November.
International Brent crude oil futures were yet to trade after closing 93 cents higher at $56.09.
Trading is expected to remain thin this week ahead of the New Year holiday season.
The market is taking a wait-and-see approach on the official start of the landmark deal reached by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and several non-Opec members.
The deal is set to kick in from January 1.
Opec and non-Opec producers are expected to lower production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), with Saudi Arabia, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ largest producer, agreeing to bear the lion’s share of the cuts.
In a sign that the world’s oil major producers may abide by their agreement, Venezuela, one of the members of the oil cartel group, said it will cut 95,000 barrels per day of oil production in the New Year.
Russian giant oil producer Gazprom Neft said it planned to boost oil output by 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent next year, less than it had intended before Russia, one of the non-Opec member countries, joined a deal to erode a global supply overhang. — Reuters