Oil edges higher on cuts to Saudi exports

Khalid al Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh

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.

Drilling rigs are parked up in the Cromarty Firth near Invergordon, Scotland, Britain January 27, 2015.

High drilling activity past year resulted in a more than 2 million bpd rise in production, to 12.1 million bpd reached this February, making the United States the world's biggest producer of crude oil ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, with some 3.6 million bpd being exported in February.

April West Texas Intermediate crude, +0.82 per cent rose 86 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $56.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after prices rose 0.5 per cent last week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The report comes as OPEC countries and allied major oil producers led by Russian Federation are trying to balance the oil market.

According to an annual five-year outlook report by the International Energy Agency, the USA became the world's top oil producer in 2018, and is set to become the world's biggest oil exporter over the next five years. 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.

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group's meeting in April and that China and the U.S. would lead healthy global demand for oil this year.

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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.

Markets have been further tightened by the implementation of US sanctions against oil exports from OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela.

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

In the near term, upcoming reports on USA inventories are expected to show that crude stocks rose 2.7 million barrels last week.

With a projected 2.3 million barrel of crude oil production per day and $60 oil benchmark in the 2019 budget, the rise in the oil prices, they say is healthy for the finance of the budget which has an unprecedented huge capital expenditure component.

The first report, from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is due at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), followed by the government's official supply report on Wednesday.

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