Russia, Saudi Arabia back extension of oil output cuts

Brent crude oil gained 30 cents to touch $52.12 a barrel, while the United States light crude traded 25 cents higher at $49.10 against their last close, reported Reuters.

However, there is no final deal yet despite the pledge by Saudi Arabia - the world's top exporter and de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - and top producer Russian Federation, as the 12 remaining OPEC members and other producers participating in the cuts have to agree to the extension during a meeting on May 25.

Oil and gas-related stocks piqued investors' interest on reports that oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation agreed to extend production cuts till March 2018. Benchmark Brent oil prices rose, trading up $1.39 at $52.23 per barrel by 1407 GMT as the market had previously expected the cuts to be extended by as little as six months.

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Even so, McGillian said, "We still have a near record overhang and signs of increasing production in areas of the world outside the producers that agreed to the cuts". According to Bloomberg, "U.S".

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) estimates that Iraq's crude oil production fell by 5,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 4.4 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in April 2017-compared to March 2017.

Earlier this month, oil prices hit a five-month high, but have wobbled over fears that producers may be unwilling to hold their nerve and limit production. Their clout in oil policy is seen as ensuring that other producers who have so far participated in the cuts will also join in the extension.

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"It has taken some time for stocks to reflect lower supply when volumes produced before output cuts by OPEC and eleven non-OPEC countries took effect are still being absorbed by the market", the report said.

Since then Opec ministers have issued a flurry of supportive statements to assure the market that a deal is likely to come from the May 25 meeting.

The OPEC member with Africa's largest crude reserves is pumping more than 814,000 barrels a day, thanks partly to rising output from two fields that re-started last month, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member at the National Oil Corp., said Sunday by phone. Nigeria's 200,000 barrel-a-day Forcados oil pipeline is ready to export again after being shut down nearly continuously since February 2016.

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Current US production is at 9.3 million bpd C-OUT-T-EIA , up more than 10 percent since its mid-2016 trough.

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