Oil rebounds above $50 on latest United States stockpile figures

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $47.57 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.5 per cent from the last settlement.

Oil prices rose on Thursday, with benchmark Brent crude trading comfortably above $50 a barrel after a fall in US inventories and a bigger-than-expected cut in Saudi supplies to Asia helped tightened the market.

OPEC members and their partners in the oil production cut agreements from last November and December have reached a consensus to extend the deal until the end of 2017, the oil ministers of Iraq and Algeria said at a joint news conference.

The higher prices were a result of top exporter and de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia saying on Monday it would "do whatever it takes" to rebalance a market that has been dogged by oversupply for over two years, resulting in crude prices below $50 per barrel.

Brent crude futures, the Global benchmark for oil prices, were at $50.33 per barrel at 0039 GMT on Thursday, up 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

Oil prices have erased the gains achieved since November, when OPEC and other producers, including Russian Federation, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).


So far, however, there have been few signs that markets have tightened significantly as producers shielded their biggest customers, especially in Asia, from the cuts.

Saudi crude oil production rose by almost 50,000 barrels per day last month, according to figures from the kingdom and secondary sources.

"U.S. crude oil production is now solidly above 9.3 million barrels per day with more to come, and refined product, especially for gasoline, is oddly weak", said John Kilduff, partner at hedge fund Again Capital in NY.

Oil was also buoyed by media reports on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would cut crude supplies to Asia.

The US Energy Information Administration stated that crude production is expected to rise by 9.31 million barrels per day in the US, a 440,000bpd increase from the previous expectation.

World oil demand growth for 2017 was left unchanged at 1.27 million barrels per day with non-OECD countries leading the growth. It had expected a 1.8 million barrels drop.

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