Oil markets are little changed today, with US crude remaining below $50 per barrel, restrained by rising output from the United States as well as producer club OPEC.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures are at $48.95 per barrel at 8.07am Irish time, down 8 cents, or 0.1%, from their last close and set to drop 1.5% for the week.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.92 a barrel, down 9 cents, or 0.2%, from their last close and set to drop 1% for the week.

Traders said prices were pressured by rising output, although strong demand prevented bigger drops.

"Developments this week have seen some pessimism return to markets," National Australia Bank said in its August outlook.

"We forecast Brent to trade at around $53 per barrel in Q4 2017," it said.

Barclays bank said "we expect a downward (price) correction during this quarter," but see Brent at an average of $54 per barrel during the fourth quarter.

Crude oil exports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to a record high in July, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research this week.

July's 26.11m barrels per day (bpd) in exports marked a rise of 370,000 bpd, most of which came from Nigeria, which posted a rise of 260,000 bpd in shipments.

The rise came despite the group's pledge to restrict output by 1.8m bpd until March 2018 together with some non-OPEC producers, including Russia.

But output in Russia is also high. Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft said today its crude oil output grew by 11.1% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017 to 56.08m tonnes.

Average daily oil production, however, declined by 1.2% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter and stood at 4.57m bpd, the company said, citing "the limitations for the Russian oil producers related to the agreements with the OPEC+ countries".

In the United States, oil production has hit 9.43m bpd, the highest since August 2015 and up 12% from its most recent low in June last year.

Preventing prices from falling further is strong demand.

US gasoline demand rose to a record 9.842m bpd last week, according to government data this week.

"Gasoline demand is now +0.1% (year-on-year). This is reasonably encouraging given it had been flat or negative since late November 2016," US investment bank Jefferies said.

"Gasoline inventories in the US fell for the seventh consecutive week ... and are now only 6.3m barrels above the five-year average," it said.