Oil prices keep rising amid supportive comments

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NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Oil prices settled higher Friday as Russia’s oil minister said that global crude supplies were “not balanced yet.”

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said ministers from leading Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers will discuss the possibility of exiting the deal at a coming committee meeting, adding “the market surplus is decreasing, but the market is not completely balanced yet,” according to CNBC.

Analysts said his remarks alleviated market concerns about a wind-down of the OPEC-led deal to reduce production.

On the data front, the number of rigs operating in U.S. oil fields rose by 10 to 752 this week, the biggest increase since June, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on Friday.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery increased 0.50 U.S. dollar to settle at 64.30 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery added 0.61 dollar to close at 69.87 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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