Saudi Arabia signals oil cuts could extend beyond 2017

OPEC sources told Reuters last week that a bigger cut was unlikely.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $46.66 per barrel, up 23 cents, or 0.5 percent from the day before.

Shipments data has shown signs of drawdown, with shipments from OPEC countries expected to fall about 50 million barrels in April, according to Thomson Reuters.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, and other producers including Russian Federation pledged to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of the year to lift oil prices.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude inventories fell 5.2 million barrels last week, much more than the 1.8 million-barrel drop analysts predicted.

An agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to calm the market with managed production declines has created economic conditions supportive of US shale oil production gains, which is capping any major rally in crude oil prices. At 522.5 million barrels, crude stocks were the lowest since February.

The amount is said to be equal two days' oil imports to Japan, Asia's second biggest economy, and marks another break from Saudi Arabia's usual policy of maintaining customers by keeping supplies steady.

The EIA raised its USA oil production forecast to an average of 9.3 million barrels per a day (bpd) in 2017 and 10 million bpd in 2018 while it lowered its projection for average oil prices in 2017 to $52.60 a barrel for Brent and $50.68 for WTI.

Brent LCOc1 was 30 cents higher at $50.52 a barrel by 0715 GMT.

If you are a believer of a successful and prolonged extension of the OPEC and non-OPEC output cut pledges, you can definitely invest in regular and leveraged oil or energy exchange-traded products for gains, at least for the short term.

OPEC on May 11 sharply raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2017 as higher prices encourage US shale drillers to pump more, hampering OPEC efforts to clear a glut and support prices by cutting its output.

Since a low point in May 2016, U.S. producers have added 387 oil rigs, or about 123%, Goldman Sachs said.

Oil futures rose on Wednesday after Reuters reported Saudi Arabia would cut supplies to the region as OPEC tries to counter rising USA output that is threatening to derail its attempts to end a sustained global crude glut.

"Conservative estimates predict that we will need to offset 20 million barrels per day in combined demand growth and natural decline over the next five years", Falih said.

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