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UPDATE 5-Oil prices steady ahead of U.S. stocks data

* U.S. oil inventories data due in next two days

* U.S. crude stocks falling in recent weeks

* U.S. oil output also rising, dampening price rises (Updates detail, prices in paragraphs 1-2)

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Tuesday, supported by signs that global supply may be tightening gradually and restrained by rising U.S. shale production.

Benchmark Brent crude was unchanged at $51.66 a barrel by 1120 GMT. U.S. light, sweet crude was also unchanged on the day at $47.37.

"U.S. crude oil stocks have been falling consistently in recent weeks," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.

"If the downtrend in oil inventories is maintained, then a bullish case can be made for oil, especially given the ongoing supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia," he added.

U.S. commercial crude inventories have fallen by almost 13 percent from their March peaks, to 466.5 million barrels. <C-STK-T-EIA>

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers including Russia have pledged to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of output between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten supplies and prop up prices.

But oil production elsewhere has been rising, blunting the impact of output cuts by OPEC and its allies.

U.S. crude production has broken through 9.5 million bpd, its highest since July 2015. <C-OUT-T-EIA>

Some analysts say U.S. oil output growth will slow as energy firms cut the number of rigs drilling for oil. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>

So far, however, the increase in U.S. production has been relentless with increasing volumes from shale, particularly from the giant Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico.

"With U.S. shale oil production proving more than resilient, the autumn period presents a lot of downside risk to oil prices," Harry Tchilinguirian, chief oil market strategist at French bank BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

The weekly rollout of data on U.S. inventories starts later on Tuesday, giving the market a chance to see if the recent downward trend in U.S. crude stocks is continuing.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute will publish statistics on crude inventories and refinery operations for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).

On Wednesday, it will be the turn of the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.

U.S. crude inventories are expected to have fallen for an eighth straight week and drop by 3.4 million barrels, a Reuters poll shows.

"Another decline in U.S. crude stocks may push prices somewhat higher again, but the upside may be limited - especially if U.S. crude production ticks higher again," said Hans van Cleef, energy economist at ABN AMRO.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein and Aaron Sheldrick in Singapore; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans)