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Oil slips as higher U.S. output looms despite dip in drilling



Oil prices gave up earlier gains on Monday as rising US output loomed over markets, despite a slowdown in rig drilling activity.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.90 a barrel at 0714 GMT, down 14 cents, or 0.2 percent.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $65.36 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.
Prices had risen on Friday and earlier on Monday.
"A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices," said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Rivkin Securities.
The U.S. economy added the biggest number of jobs in more than 1-1/2 years in February, with non-farm payrolls jumping by 313,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.
In oil markets, U.S. energy companies last week cut oil rigs for the first time in almost two months RIG-OL-USA-BHI, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796, Baker Hughes GE.N energy services firm said on Friday. 
Despite the lower rig count, which is an early indicator of future output, activity remains much higher than a year ago when, when just 617 rigs were active, and most analysts expect U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA, which has already risen by over a fifth since mid-2016, to 10.37 million barrels per day (bpd), to rise further.
That's more than top exporter Saudi Arabia produces and almost as much as Russia pumps out, at nearly 11 million bpd. --Reuters