Global inventory levels are falling and demand is strong, but Brent has remained below $60 a barrel, partly due to concern the crude glut may grow again after March 2018, when the output reduction deal is due to end.
Oil prices were little changed after erasing earlier losses by midday on Thursday as Middle East tensions and Saudi comments about ending a global supply glut offset an unexpected increase in United States crude inventories and high U.S. production and exports.
Ahead of OPEC's policy meeting on November 30, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation declared their support for extending an OPEC-led deal to cut supplies for another nine months, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' secretary general said.
The global benchmark for oil prices was trading up $1.05, or 1.8 percent, at $60.35 a barrel at 11:17 a.m. ET (1517 GMT). "The oil fields near Kirkuk-the Bai Hassan and Avana fields-are still reportedly not exporting crude, but that could soon change", reports OilPrice.com.
For the week, Brent was 4.6 percent higher, notching its third straight weekly gain.
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USA drillers added one oil rig in the week to October 27, but the rig count fell by 13 for the month, the biggest such decline since May 2016, data showed on Friday.
Brent crude reached its highest level since July 2015 amid signs that oil-producing countries will extend efforts to combat a supply glut.
Traders say today's move is driven mostly by currency markets, with the dollar whipsawed by a report that Pres. Trump is leaning towards Jerome Powell as the next Fed chairman. Total U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 856,000 barrels, halting four weeks of declines, the EIA said. We're also seeing record exports at close to 2 million barrels a day, helped by the widening Brent-WTI spread.
Echoing sentiments about a so-called Goldilocks number, Tamas Varga with London oil broker PVM said in an emailed market report that USA crude oil production numbers may be the governor on market direction.
Rising U.S. crude production remains an issue for OPEC as it strives to clear a global overhang. "Using the same logic, the upside is limited, too as strong-ish US domestic crude oil price will serve as an incentive to ramp up production".