Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group's meeting in April and that China and the United States would lead healthy global demand for oil this year.
U.S. crude shipments are projected to stand at 8.93 million barrels a day in five years - just 0.59 million less that Riyadh, and 0.24 million barrels more than Moscow.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies such as Russian Federation - known as the OPEC+ alliance - will meet in Vienna on April 17-18, with another gathering scheduled for June 25-26. "But, barring this, I think we will just be kicking the can forward", Mr Falih said.
"Owing to the. headline yesterday that Saudis have pledged deeper-than-agreed production cuts for April.is the reason we saw a rally", said Matt Stanley, a broker at Starfuels in Dubai. The prices gained further steam with the OPEC assurance of supply cut continuing till June and rise in demand.
With Venezuela output falling further due to US sanctions and power blackouts, oil refiners put in requests - or nominations in industry jargon - for Saudi crude of more than 7.6 million barrels a day for April, the person said. Last year, Riyadh agreed with OPEC and its partners, including Russian Federation, to cap production at 10.31 million barrels a day.
News that Venezuela's crude exports have taken a hit in the wake of a mostly nationwide power outage that began late last week has also provided support for oil prices.
Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC output policy at the group's meeting in April. However, the kingdom will supply overseas customers with less than 7 million barrels a day, 635,000 barrels less than refiners asked for, they said. "Aramco is finalizing their April allocations today or tomorrow so we will know more on Monday".
Global oil demand growth is set to ease as China slows, but will still rise by an annual average of 1.2 million bpd to 2024 when it will reach 106.4 million bpd. That compares to production of around 10.14 million bpd in February.
The agency suggested that US' crude oil exports will almost double, reaching about 9 million barrels per day by 2024, which means it has a tangible chance of surpassing Russian Federation and even Saudi Arabia at that point.
Analysts see rising oil prices as good for Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer that runs a mono-economy driven by oil proceeds.
So far, Saudi Arabia has focused its exports cuts in the USA market, where weekly data on inventories makes supply changes quickly visible to the wider market.