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Oil Rises As US Output Begins Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output that was cut by frigid conditions raised concerns about supply.

Benchmark Brent crude climbed 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $62.60 a barrel, after rising nearly 1 percent last week. U.S. oil prices were up 34 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $59.50, after having ended 0.4 percent lower last week.

U.S. crude stocks data will determine the direction for oil prices this week as production returns slowly from last week's severe cold snap.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts said.

It will take several days for oilfield crews to deice valves, restart systems and begin oil and gas production.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have raised their Brent oil price forecast for the second quarter by $10 to $70 and to $75 in the following three months.

Goldman sees the rally accelerating as demand outpaces supply from OPEC+, shale and Iran. The investment banking giant sees oil as an inflation hedge and doesn't expect Iran's export to recover anytime soon.

The international benchmark is already up more than two-thirds since the end of October to above $63 per barrel.

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