Oil Up On Traders' Hope Investment Cuts Limit Supply


NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Global oil prices snapped a two-day decline and rose around 2 percent on Wednesday on hopes prices will recover as energy companies cut production investment to alleviate a glut that has wiped out more than half crude's value since June.

The lift in prices come after OPEC's Secretary General and the International Energy Agency's chief economist both said they expected prices - hovering at April 2009 lows - to rebound later this year.

Total SA joined a raft of international oil companies, including BP Plc and ConocoPhillips, in slashing budgets in light of the recent plunge in prices. The French oil major said it would cut spending on U.S. shale production, among other regions, raising hopes there would be a reduction in the oversupply of oil from the United States.

The cut is "headline-grabbing," analyst Matt Smith of Schneider Electric said, but it will be months before an actual reduction will manifest itself.

"Until that point, we're going to continue to be weighing OPEC's ongoing production versus these potential cuts in the U.S.," he said.

Brent rose $1.04 to settle at $49.03 a barrel, while U.S. crude was up $1.31 and settled at $47.78 a barrel.

The dollar index was fairly flat, trading just under 93 as traders waited for the European Central Bank to announce a bond-buying program to support the European economy.


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