Oil prices rose on Monday as a weaker dollar and the delay of new Libyan oil exports boosted benchmarks, amid expectations of tighter crude supply going into 2017. Brent crude futures traded at $55.47 per barrel, up 26 cents from their last close.
Analysts said the increases, which built on gains of around 2 percent on Friday, were driven by a delay in crude oil supplies from Libya.
Late last week, a group guarding oil infrastructure in Libya said it had reopened a long-blockaded pipeline leading from the oilfields of Sharara and El Feel, but a separate group had prevented a production restart at El Feel.
Additionally, the U.S. dollar fell back against a basket of other currencies since hitting 2002 highs last week. A strong dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Some expected the strength in oil prices to continue into early 2017 due to a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut almost 1.8 million barrels per day in oil output from January.
Despite this, there were factors that cast a shadow on markets, preventing prices from rising more.
In the United States, which did not participate in the output-reduction deal, drilling for new oil has increased for seven straight weeks.
Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January, though still below 541 rigs a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.
As a result, U.S. oil production is edging up, rising from below 8.5 million in July to almost 8.8 million by mid-December.