OPEC net oil revenues in 2016 were the lowest since 2004

Crude oil prices have been in volatile territory for most of the year, swinging between the upper $50 range for Brent to the upper $40 level.

- Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by plentiful supplies despite an ongoing effort led by OPEC to cut production in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.

Though the deal proposed a cut of 1.8 million barrels, commodity analysts are of the view that this number could be increased. Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said Thursday that most OPEC members support Saudi Arabia and Russia's proposal to prolong the curbs to March next year, and that the rate of compliance should increase.

Oil markets are interestingly poised ahead of a May 25 meeting of the oil cartel, OPEC.

Saudi Arabia was one of the oil producers whose national budgets were highly impacted by the low oil prices and the kingdom needs higher oil prices to meet its financial obligations.

Many investors remain concerned about growing USA crude production, which has climbed 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day.

Elsewhere non-Opec producers Oman and South Sudan have also indicated they would back coordinated cuts led by Opec. Inventories continue to sit above five-year averages, the level that major producers want oil stocks to return to in hopes of boosting prices, which remain less than half of where they were three years ago.

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The consensus among OPEC-watchers is that the organisation is likely to extend its production cuts.

USA crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Oil prices fell more than 1 percent earlier, as investors became increasingly cautious following the latest reports of links between Russian Federation and the campaign to elect Donald Trump president.

A surplus of USA supply has led to large volumes of crude being exported from the United States to northern Asia, undermining the OPEC-led efforts to tighten the market.

It seems that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may be losing control of oil prices worldwide. The data suggested that the OPEC production cut deal started bearing fruit at last.

However, the OPEC move to improve oil prices was not augmented by the U.S. shale producers. Consequently, as soon as the oil prices move upwards of $55 per barrel, it becomes profitable for United States shale producers to operate and produce more.

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