Oil prices rise on talk of OPEC cut extension, inventories in focus

"As such, the combination of robust demand and weaker global supply leading to rebalanced markets will not be de-railed by US shale oil", said Jeremy Baker, Senior Commodity Strategist, at Vontobel Asset Management.

OPEC, which sources say is increasingly leaning towards extending cuts, has broadly delivered on pledged reductions so far, but non-OPEC states have yet to cut fully in line with commitments.

S&P Global Platts said in a daily newsletter emailed to UPI that analysts it surveyed expected to see a build in USA crude oil inventories of 2 million barrels per day for the week ending March 17. Global benchmark Brent shed 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $50.64 a barrel, its lowest close since November 30 when OPEC countries agreed to cut output.

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was lower by 1.37 percent, declining to $47.58 per barrel.

Brent remains well below this year's high above $58, hit shortly after January 1 when the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC states to curb supplies by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) came into effect.

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Despite cuts, analysts warned of renewed or ongoing oversupply in coming years, especially as USA shale producers ramp up and once OPEC returns to full capacity.

Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil, were at $51.97 per barrel at 0746 GMT, up 35 cents, or 0.68 per cent, from their last close.

Traders also said that healthy oil demand would help rebalance markets and support prices.

Domestic-crude production totaled 9.129 million barrels a day last week, up 20,000 barrels a day, the EIA said.

Official U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) oil storage data is due on Wednesday. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has said the group would extend the deal if oil stockpiles remain high.

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The bloated storage comes as USA oil production C-OUT-T-EIA has risen over 8 percent since mid-2016 to more than 9.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to levels comparable in late 2014, when the oil market slump started.

According to Goldman Sachs, the rising USA shale production could lead to an oversupply by 2018 or 2019.

Further gains may depend on Tuesday's data on USA inventories from the American Petroleum Institute (API) at 2030 GMT.

Gasoline stocks fell 2.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.0 million-barrel drop.

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