InternationalMoney and Business

Oil edges higher on cuts to Saudi exports

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

NEW YORK – Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday, supported by signs of tightening global supply after a Saudi official said the kingdom plans to cut oil exports in April, while the U.S. government reduced its forecast for domestic crude output growth.

Saudi Arabia, seeking to drain a supply glut and support prices, plans to cut its crude oil exports next month to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), while keeping its output well below 10 million bpd, a Saudi official said on Monday.

Brent crude futures rose 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $66.67 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $56.87 a barrel.

Since the beginning of the year, both benchmarks have risen around 25 percent.

Crude has been supported since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, returned to supply cuts as of Jan. 1. The group, known as OPEC+, agreed to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd for six months.

Saudi Arabia has voluntarily cut its supply by more than the deal requires and in April will keep output “well below” 10 million bpd, the Saudi official said – less than the 10.311 million bpd the kingdom had agreed to pump.

On Sunday, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group’s meeting in April.

The United Arab Emirates in February exceeded its OPEC target for oil output cuts, achieving 119 percent of its goal, the country’s energy minister said on Tuesday at an energy conference.

A host of involuntary supply curbs in OPEC members, caused by unrest in Libya and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, have also boosted prices.



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