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Crude oil prices tad higher

Oil prices increased after Iraq’s Oil Minister said on Wednesday that OPEC and other crude producers were considering extending or even deepening a supply cut to curb a global glut. Meanwhile, a report showed a smaller-than-expected increase in the US inventories.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 34 cents at USD 49.82 a barrel at 0018 GMT. On Tuesday, the contract declined 43 cents to USD 49.48.

Brent crude futures were 24 cents higher at USD 55.38. They settled down 34 cents at USD 55.14 a barrel in the previous session.

While options being considered by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers include an extension of cuts in output by months, it is premature to decide on what to do beyond March, when the agreement expires, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said at an energy conference in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

OPEC and producers including Russia have agreed to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support prices.