LONDON: Oil prices slipped on Thursday as US fuel inventories rose despite efforts by OPEC to cut production. Brent crude oil was down 60 cents at $56.34 a barrel by 1055 GMT. US light crude was 75 cents lower at $50.55. Both benchmarks have risen more than 20 percent from their lows in June as world oil markets tightened. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia agreed last year to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices and the cuts, from January, have helped drain inventories. The OPEC-led deal helped lift oil from the $30 to $40 per barrel range in late 2016/early 2017. But traders say supplies remain ample despite these cuts, thanks in large part to surging US production C-OUT-T-EIA. Higher US production is allowing US companies to export increasing volumes to world markets, feeding inventories and helping to undermine OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market. US crude stocks rose by 3.1 million to 468.5 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Official US fuel inventory data is due to be published on Thursday by the Energy Information Administration. OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018. Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.