Saudi signals first cut in crude supplies to Asian customer-refinery source

A soldier patrols in front of the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna Austria

Saudi signals first cut in crude supplies to Asian customer-refinery source

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers agreed to curb production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from January 1 to support the market and push prices to $60 per barrel. Since a low point on May 27, 2016, USA producers have added 387 oil rigs, or about 123 percent, Goldman Sachs said.

In the report, OPEC pointed to continued high compliance by its members with the supply cut deal and said oil stocks in industrialised nations fell in March - although they are still 276 million barrels above the five-year average.

U.S. crude stockpiles posted their biggest weekly drawdown since December as imports dropped sharply, the U.S. Energy Department said Wednesday, while inventories of refined products also fell.

Saudi Aramco, which is a state-owned, is going to low oil supplies to Asian customers in June by 7 million barrels.

Benchmark Brent crude settled up 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $49.34 a barrel.

The EIA raised its US 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.

According to Opec's latest monthly report a large part of the excess supply overhang contained in floating storage facilities has been reduced and the improvement in the world economy should help support oil demand too.

The rebound in oil prices to around $50 in recent months breathed new life into US producers, who have boosted drilling in shale regions, lifting USA output to levels not seen since mid-2015.

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

Non-cartel producers led by Russian Federation partially matched the cuts.

While the producers have largely complied with the production quotas, oil prices have struggled to gain momentum as USA shale producers have started to ramp up production in response to the OPEC-led cuts.

He said he expected global oil demand to grow at a rate close to a year ago.

Two OPEC members are exempt from the cut-Nigeria and Libya- and a third member, Iran, was allowed to boost output to a specified level.

The EIA forecast United States oil demand for 2017 to rise 290,000 bpd, up from its previous forecast for a 250,000 bpd increase.

Gasoline demand also perked, as us gasoline futures were up 2.4% after the report.

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