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US Oil Rebounds on Export Opertunity

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oil-productionThe U.S. oil benchmark ended higher Tuesday, trading at a premium to its global counterpart for the first time since January, boosted in part by the lifting of a four-decade ban on U.S. oil exports and apparent unwinding of bearish bets before year-end, analysts said.

Futures on Brent crude the global benchmark, fell 24 cents, or 0.7%, to finish at $36.11 a barrel on London’s ICE exchange, while futures for February delivery of West Texas Intermediate crude the U.S. benchmark, rose 33 cents, or 0.9%%, to finish at $36.14 a barrel.

The lifting of the oil export ban is part of the equation, along with the unwinding of a long Brent/short WTI spread before the end of the year and an uptick in North Sea production of Brent crude, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.