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Business Oil Prices Rise Ahead of US Inventory Data



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Crude oil prices rebounded in Asia on Tuesday, bolstered by reports that Saudi Arabia was close to completing an oilfield expansion.

The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in June was up 10 cents, or 0.23 percent, at $42.74 and Brent crude for June rose eight cents, or 0.18 percent, to $44.56 as at 06:30 GMT.

Both contracts had dived on Monday following reports that Saudi state oil company Aramco would complete the expansion of its Shaybah oilfield by the end of May. This would've ensured the oil rich nation maintains its total capacity at 12 million barrels a day.

But analysts said the gains, partly prompted by a slightly weaker dollar, would likely be short-lived due to lingering worries about a global supply glut. Traders are also nervously awaiting the release of US stockpiles data on Wednesday.

"Although we are seeing some positive moves in our trading session today, they have come on very light volumes," Michael McCarthy, Chief Market Strategist at CMC Markets said according to AFP.

He also noted that attention would focus on Wednesday's data on US commercial crude supplies, which are currently near historic highs.

Nigeria is currently faced with a severe shortage in revenue generation following the crash in the global price of crude oil as Africa's most populous country makes most of its earnings from crude oil sales.

The crude oil price is still above the $38/barrel benchmark in Nigeria's 2016 budget. It could however rise further after Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said the county is still hopeful of another oil freeze meeting in the near future.


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