Oil prices mixed after U.S. production seen rising

While compliance has been strong among OPEC countries, production cuts have lagged among others that have agreed to act to curb oil prices, including Russian Federation.

Recently, OPEC published a report stating that the group has cut output for March beyond the agreed amounts.

Kuwait needs the price hike to fill a $26 billion hole in its national budget. That is the highest in about two years.

Brent crude futures were up 19 cents at $55.08 a barrel at 1331 GMT, while USA crude futures were up 15 cents at $52.56.

On Nymex, May gasoline RBK7, -1.33% fell 0.5% to $1.712 a gallon, while May heating oil HOK7, -0.91% lost 0.2% to $1.629 a gallon. Futures gained 94 cents last week to close at $53.18 a barrel.

Cost of the United States light crude oil decreased $0.43 to stand at $52.75, while price of the Brent crude oil fell $0.46 to trade at $55.43.

The market was subdued to start this week with major trading center London closed for a holiday on Monday.

"All the signs of an ever-growing bull market are starting to fade away, (with) Libya and geo-political tensions easing, but also because the Texans are back and they are pumping like there's no tomorrow", said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services (FIS) in Dubai. While markets are braced for the possibility of more geopolitical tensions over North Korea, the attempted launch on Sunday of a ballistic missile fizzled as the projectile blew up nearly immediately.

More news: Boris Johnson to make statement on crises in North Korea and Syria

"U.S. drillers are recovering output faster than the market predicted and it's getting faster every day", Will Yun, a commodities analyst Hyundai Futures Corp., said by phone in Seoul.

The benchmark for US oil had also risen for three straight weeks through Thursday, before the Easter break.

Any increase in output in the United States, now the world's third-biggest oil producer, will likely put pressure on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - which agreed to curb output at the end of previous year - to cut production further.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday, hitting their lowest in 11 days as a USA government report said shale oil output in May was expected to post the biggest monthly increase in more than two years.

At the end of November, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) from January 1, initially for a period of six months.

It is assumed that under this plan the world's largest oil exporter will produce 10 percent of its energy using renewable energy sources.

China's March refinery throughput also rose to 11.19 million bpd, just shy of December's record, as margins remained attractive.

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