World oil prices rose today, extending solid gains in the previous session in response to reports that leading petroleum producers are curtailing investment. 

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery added 75 cents to $51.96 a barrel compared with yesterday's close. 

Brent North Sea crude for April leapt $1.02 to $60.30 a barrel in London trade - the first time this year above $60. 

Crude futures had rallied by almost $2.50 yesterday on reports of falling investment in the oil sector. 

Analysts said that dealers are wary about the impact of such cuts in the immediate term. "The main thing is crude production. As long as production levels don't go down for now, it is hard to see a reversal of low oil prices," they said. 

A US stockpiles report on Wednesday showing crude reserves standing at an 80-year high for this time of the year has exacerbated concerns about a global supply glut. 

Oil prices have been under pressure for months, plunging about 60% to just over $40 a barrel between June and the end of January. 

However, they have recovered slightly in recent weeks as the number of drilling rigs has fallen and oil companies such as Total and Royal Dutch Shell trimmed some investment.