Oil prices eased on Thursday as U.S. fuel inventories rose despite efforts by OPEC to cut production and tighten the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $51.08 per barrel at 0014 GMT, down 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $56.65, down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, from the previous close. Starting this year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia have agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices.
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Written by David Gaffen at Reuters