* Brent, U.S. crude on track for fourth weekly gain
* U.S. oil rigs rise by 8 this week - Baker Hughes
NEW YORK, June 18 (Reuters) - Oil futures rose on Friday,
reversing early losses and set for a fourth week of gains after
OPEC sources said the producer group expected limited U.S. oil
output growth this year despite rising prices.
Officials at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries got the U.S. production outlook from industry experts,
OPEC sources said. This would give the producer group more power
to manage the market before a potential surge in shale output in
Brent crude futures rose 43 cents, or 0.6% to settle
at $73.51 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
rose 60 cents, or 0.8% to $71.64 a barrel.
Both benchmarks were headed for a weekly gain of about 1.1%.
"Oil markets are rallying because OPEC is skeptical that the
increase in U.S. oil production is going to be enough to change
their plans to support prices," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst
at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
On Wednesday, Brent settled at its highest price since April
2019 and WTI closed at its highest since October 2018. Gains
were capped by lingering concerns about the pandemic and a
stronger U.S. dollar, which makes oil more expensive in other
Sources told Reuters that on Tuesday, officials from OPEC's
Economic Commission Board (ECB) and external presenters attended
a meeting focused on U.S. output. OPEC heard from more
forecasters on the outlook for 2021 and 2022 at a separate
meeting on Thursday.
While there was general agreement on limited U.S. supply
growth this year, an industry source said for 2022 forecasts
ranged from growth of between 500,000 and 1.3 million barrels
"The general sentiment regarding shale was it will come back
as prices go up but not super fast," said a source at one of the
companies that provided forecasts to OPEC.
Higher oil prices have spurred some U.S. energy firms back
to the well pad. The oil rig count, an early indicator of future
output, rose eight this week to 373, the highest since April
2020, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Co.
On Thursday, Iran's top negotiator indicated an agreement
was close in talks between Tehran and Washington on reviving the
2015 Iran nuclear deal. This added to pressure on
(Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London, Sonali Paul
in Melbourne and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Marguerita
Choy and David Gregorio)