Crude oil prices were up at Friday's opening supported by OPEC and its allies decision to further curb production by an additional 0.5 million barrels per day (bpd) starting from Jan. 1.
This decision adds to their existing output cut of 1.2 million bpd that had been decided in December 2018. Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, also said this month that it would voluntarily lower its individual output level by 400,000 bpd.
Prices were also sustained with record sales in the U.S. by signaling that oil demand next year could be higher than expected.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $67.64 per barrel on Monday at GMT 0625 while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) saw prices of $61.79 per barrel at the same time.
Brent crude was trading at $68 per barrel at 0633 GMT for a 0.06% gain on Friday, after closing at $67.96 a barrel on Thursday with a 1.13% daily gain.
WTI was at $61.80 a barrel at the same time for a 0.17% gain, after ending the previous session at $61.69 per barrel.
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased last week, but crude oil production climbed back to record high levels, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday.
Commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 5.5 million barrels, or 1.2%, to 441.4 million barrels for the week ending Dec. 20, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was a decline of 1.7 million barrels. Inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels during the previous week
According to Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs - an indicator of short-term production, saw a weekly decline of eight to reach 677 for the week ending Dec. 27.
This marked the first decline in the oil rig count after two consecutive weekly increases, the data showed.
Global supplies were also affected with developments in Libya. A statement from Libya’s national oil company (NOC) on Saturday said its refinery could face closure because of nearby clashes in the country’s western port.
The NOC's statement revealed that three bombs hit close to its oil storage tanks over the last 48 hours in the western Zawiya port.
By Gulsen Cagatay