Saudi Arabia said to reduce oil output to lowest since January

The latest USA oil production and inventory data will be published later on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

"Over the last four weeks, the country's crude oil imports averaged about 8.1 million barrels per day, 3 percent above the same four-week period past year", said EIA. The report also showed stockpiles at the U.S. crude hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose 276,000 barrels in the week ended April 7th.

The market has been oversupplied since mid-2014, prompting members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers to agree to cut output in the first six months of 2017.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.64% to $56.59 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.

The US oil data followed bullish reports from OPEC nations, which said they had cut March output beyond what they had promised, according to figures the group published in a monthly report.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut output by about 1.2 million barrels per day for six months from January 1 to prop up prices and reduce a glut.

The IEA trimmed its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2017 by 40,000 bpd to 1.32 million bpd.

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Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are leading the agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curtail oil supplies and end a three year surplus. Several OPEC countries, including Kuwait, have expressed public support for an extension, Bloomberg said.

"With the pick-up in drilling activity, as well as increasing cashflows in the tight oil industry, US tight crude output is expected to rise quickly and increase 335,000 bpd for the overall of 2017", OPEC said, using another term for shale.

Both benchmarks kicked off Thursday on a downbeat note after US data on Wednesday showed domestic production jumped to its highest level in more than a year last week.

After dropping to $47 a barrel about 10 days ago, WTI oil prices closed above $53 a barrel Monday night.

"By the end of April we will reach 300,000 barrels per day cuts", said the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Analysts said, however, that there are worries demand growth could falter, and other indicators were warning that the market had not yet cleared enough of its surplus to keep prices rising.


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