SINGAPORE: Oil prices held steady on Tuesday amid uncertainty over voluntary output cuts by OPEC+ and as continued tension in the Middle East spurred supply concern.
Brent crude futures edged up 13 cents to $78.16 a barrel by 0106 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 18 cents at $73.22 a barrel.
Oil prices had declined in the previous trading session as traders doubted that supply cuts by OPEC+ would have a significant impact, and as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodity prices in general, said CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng.
A stronger dollar typically makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, which could dampen oil demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, on Thursday agreed to voluntary output cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of 2024, led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut.
At least 1.3 million bpd of those cuts, however, were an extension of voluntary curbs that Saudi Arabia and Russia already had in place.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, told Bloomberg in an interview on Monday that OPEC+ oil production cuts can "absolutely" continue past the first quarter if needed.
Resumption of fighting in the Israel-Hamas war, however, stoked supply concern, as did attacks on three commercial vessels in international waters in the southern Red Sea.
Those incidents followed a series of attacks in Middle-Eastern waters since war broke out between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7. (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Christopher Cushing)