SEOUL (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Friday as themarket waited to see whether major oil producers would extend supply cutsbeyond March at a meeting in Vienna later in the day.Internationalbenchmark Brent crude futures were at $56.51 a barrel at 0644 GMT, up 8 cents,or 0.14 percent, from their last close.U.S.West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 12 cents, or 0.24 percent,at $50.67 per barrel.TheOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producersare set to meet in Vienna at 0800 GMT on Friday to discuss a possible extensionof an oil supply cut deal to prop up prices.GoldmanSachs said that talks over extending cuts are “noteworthy but premature”,adding “we believe it is unlikely that committee will recommend extension ofcuts this week.”Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets inSydney, predicted there will be “strong rhetoric but whether or not they willbe able to boost oil prices from current high levels is another question”.There will besome focus on whether Nigeria and Libya, who have been exempt from the curbs, will join anyfuture cuts. The two OPEC members have both been invited to the meeting.“Themarket is still split as to whether the meeting will bring fresh supply cuts tothe table,” ANZ bank said in a note.“WithU.S. stockpiles remaining elevated, a firm signal about lower supply is likelyneeded for price momentum to remain positive.”OPEC and somenon-OPEC producers including Russia first agreed in November last year to cut theiroutput by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to clear global oversupply and support prices.Despitetheir concerted efforts - the oil cartel extended their supply cuts until theend of March - prices have remained depressed amid increasing U.S. oilproduction.The EnergyInformation Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. crudeproduction reached 9.51 million bpd in the week ended Sept.15, up from 8.78million bpd a week ago. [C-OUT-T-EIA]

 


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