• Oil price drops but remains near an 8 week high as US supplies decline


                  Oil prices dropped on Friday, but remain near the highest level in eight weeks, supported by a drop in US suppklies and OPEC's efforts to preserve. By 0650 GMT, global benchmark crude was down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $ 51.41 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 10 cents or 0.2 percent at $ 48.94 a barrel. In the previous session, crude rose to its highest level since May 31, supported by the rise in gasoline futures in the United States after receiving support from OPEC's latest efforts to cut exports and a sharp drop in US crude inventories. Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that crude inventories in the United States fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week ending June 21 due to strong refining activity and increased exports. Oil prices have found support in a new deal between OPEC and some outside producers to curb Nigerian production and encourage some members to comply with production cuts they have pledged. Since the world's top oil producers held a meeting in St. Petersburg on Monday, crude prices have risen nearly 6 percent, supported by expectations of deeper cuts. Saudi Arabia, the actual leader of OPEC, said it planned to cut crude exports to 6.6 million bpd in August, about 1 million barrel per day less than a year earlier.

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