Oil gains as Saudi stands by Opec output cuts

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose more than 1 per cent on Monday, lifted by comments from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al Falih that an end to Petroleum Exporting Countries-led supply cuts was unlikely before June.
Brent crude futures were up 84 cents, or 1.28 per cent, to settle at $66.58 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude Futures rose 72 cents, or 1.28 per cent, to settle at $56.79 a barrel, a 1.28 per cent.
Falih said on Sunday it would be too early to change a production curb pact agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia before the group’s meeting in June.
“The Saudis continue to take a proactive approach to get supply and demand in better balance,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
Oil markets have been supported this year by the ongoing supply cuts by the group called Opec+, which has pledged to cut 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude supply since the start of the year to prop up prices.
The group will meet on April 17-18, with another gathering scheduled for June 25-26, to discuss supply policy.
Opec is expected to review global oil demand and supply balance as the group maintains production cuts during the April meeting, a senior Gulf oil official said on Monday.
“We want to see commercial stocks down,” the official said on the sidelines of IHS Markit’s CERAWeek energy conference.
The official added that global crude and oil products stocks should fall back to a five-year average, a target the group had set to drain a global oil glut.
In addition, a Saudi official said the country planned to cut crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day. — Reuters