Singapore: Oil prices rose on Monday, buoyed by output cuts by producer club OPEC and reports that the United States and China are close to a deal to end a bitter tariff row that has slowed global economic growth.
International Brent futures were at USD 65.36 a barrel at 0446 GMT, up 29 cents, or 0.5 per cent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 56.07 per barrel, up 27 cents, or 0.5 per cent.
The rally followed reports that the United States and China are close to ending their bitter year-long trade dispute.
The two countries appear close to a deal that would roll back US tariffs on at least USD 200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on US goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday in Washington.
Hopes of an end to the trade spat between the two world’s biggest economies added support to a market that has been rallying for the past two months on cuts to production.
Supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell to a four-year low in February, a Reuters survey found, as top exporter Saudi Arabia and its allies over-delivered on the group’s supply pact while Venezuelan output registered a further involuntary decline.
“OPEC exports are off by over 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) since November,” Barclays bank said in a note released on Sunday.
“The supply picture looks generally tighter this year,” said energy analysts at Fitch Solutions in a note on Monday, adding they expected Brent to average USD 73 per barrel in 2019.
Oil prices have been further pushed up by US sanctions against OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela, which Barclays bank estimates to have resulted in a reduction of around 2 million bpd in global crude supply.
In the United States, there are signs that the oil production boom of the past years, which has seen crude output rise by more than 2 million bpd since early 2018 to more than 12 million bpd, may slow down.
US energy firms last week cut the number of oil rigs looking for new reserves to the lowest in almost nine months as some producers follow through on plans to cut spending despite an over 20-per cent increase in crude futures so far this year.
Despite this, Barclays said “we believe that there could be a repeat performance in the second-half of this year” for US oil output....