EIA revises forecast for oil production in Azerbaijan

US crude rose 16 cents on Wednesday to $53.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as traders reacted to media reports that Saudi Arabia, the cartel's de facto leader, wants to see OPEC continue production cuts into the second half of this year.

Gross U.S. crude oil imports in 2016 rose to an average of 7.9 million barrels per day (b/d), 514,000 b/d more than the 2015 average.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 26 cents at $53.66 a barrel, on track for a seventh straight session of gains.

Canada's share of USA crude oil imports declined slightly from 2015, as both imports and import shares from countries such as Iraq and Nigeria grew, according to annual trade data from EIA's Petroleum Supply Monthly.

Brent for June settlement rose 16 cents to $56.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 9:05 a.m.in NY.

Wednesday's USA data followed more bullish news from OPEC nations that they had cut March oil output beyond the measures they had promised.

OPEC reduced its output to around 1.2 million barrels per day from the beginning of January and for six months - the first curb in eight years - to get rid of excess supply.

Oil prices gained Wednesday after Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter of crude, told major producers that it favors extending a deal to curtail the global supply.

The reduction is expected to happen by the end of April, and would bring Russian Federation into compliance with an OPEC-brokered deal to reduce oil output.

However, higher prices are stimulating investment and production elsewhere, including the United States. "Most sources anticipate a rebound in shale oil output this year, supported by the oil price recovery and the capital spending increases in this sector". The monitoring committee, led by Kuwait, which consists of both OPEC and non-OPEC members said last month it has been satisfied with the compliance levels. The IEA made no prediction about such a likelihood, but said that a outcome of OPEC "hypothetically" renewing the deal would be to support prices more, and give further encouragement to USA shale oil producers.

American drivers jumping into their cars this summer for long-distance journeys are expected to buoy global oil demand, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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