Oil prices held steady in trading today as expectations that OPEC would extend output cuts offset the impact of rising US crude production and inventories. 

Brent crude oil was down 41 cents a barrel at $61.46 this afternoon, while US light crude  CLc1 fell 20 cents to $55.13. 

Oil prices have slipped in recent days from the two-year highs hit last week by both crude benchmarks after signs that US supply is rising fast and could potentially undermine OPEC's efforts to tighten the market. 

New figures from the US Energy Information Administration yesterday showed domestic crude inventories rising for a second week in a row.

They increased by 1.9 million barrels in the week to November 10 to 459 million barrels.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a decrease of 2.2 million barrels. 

US crude oil production has hit a record of 9.65 million bpd, meaning output has risen by almost 15% since its low in the middle of last year.

But expectations that a meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on November0 would result in OPEC nations and other big exporters extending their pact to tighten supply has offset some of the pressure on prices. 

OPEC and non-OPEC exporters including Russia agreed a year ago to cut crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018 to bolster prices. 

Oil ministers have signalled that they are likely to extend the agreement, possibly until the end of next year.