COMODOTIES-OIL - Crude oil prices rose in Asia on Friday as investors looked ahead to a meeting of OPEC and allied nations to review efforts to curb output and U.S. rig count later in the day as they digested an alarming report that North Korea could test a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 0.12% to $50.61 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent edged down 0.14% to $56.40 a barrel.

North Korean Foreigh Minister Ri Yong Ho said on Friday he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean of an unprecedented scale, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Ri was speaking to reporters in New York when he was asked what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had meant when he threatened in an earlier statement the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled lower on Thursday as investors continued to weigh data showing a sharp rise in U.S. crude production and stockpiles ahead of an Opec meeting slated for Friday.


The rocky week for crude prices continued as concerns over an uptick weekly crude supplies and production weighed on sentiment amid growing investor optimism on a possible extension to the Opec-led agreement to cut oil output.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers will meet Friday in Vienna to discuss the market impact of the production-cut agreement and progress toward rebalancing supply and demand.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.

Some analysts suggested, however, that the production-curb exemptions which have allowed Nigeria and Libya to ramp up production could be lifted to ease the glut in global crude supplies.

"Exempt members Libya and Nigeria may be brought into the fold of the production cut deal," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.

The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that total U.S. crude production rose by 157,000 barrels a day to 9.510 million barrels while U.S. crude supplies rose by roughly 4.6m barrels for the week ended Sept. 15.