Oil firms as Saudis trim exports, USA output forecast reduced

India, Saudi Arabia to revive work on $44-billion West Coast refinery

Offsetting OPEC efforts to tighten the market and disruptions like Venezuela is a surge in United States oil supply.

Crude oil prices have been trending higher today on the back of falling Venezuelan and Iranian production, squeezed by US sanctions, and also thanks to an update from Saudi Arabia that it plans to continue cutting its production deeper than it agreed on last December to support prices.

Oil prices have been pushed up this year by supply cuts led by the Middle East dominated producer group of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures stood at about $56.39 per barrel at 0323 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close on Friday.

The resolution was to be subject to a review to either extend the cut by June, or discontinue after the monitoring team has reviewed the impact.

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.

"Downward revisions in global growth forecasts by OECD and European Central Bank have capped bullish gains", said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures. The oil cartel and partners agreed to slash production in December, taking 1.2 million barrels per day off the market in order to prevent supply glut and a further slump in crude prices. Now comes word that OPEC and its allies plan in April to keep its oil output well below the level pledged as part of its original deal.

The was one of the major talking points in a meeting between Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Saudi counterpart and the chairman of Saudi Aramco, Khalid A Al-Falih, in New Delhi on Saturday. If there is any unforeseen disruption somewhere else.

US crude stocks also fell unexpectedly last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, as supply from various producers was being curbed.

The slowdown in drilling points to more timid output growth going forward, but because the overall drilling level remains relatively high despite the recent decline, many analysts still expect US crude output to rise above 13 million bpd soon.

Saudi Arabia is a key oil supplier to India and exported 36.8 million tons of crude to Indian refiners in the year ended March 2018, accounting for 16.7 percent of their total purchases, according to the statement.

"This is the third straight week of decline...after a number of oil producers trimmed their spending outlooks for 2019", ANZ bank said on Monday.

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