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OPEC figures show oil output cuts exceed pledge in March


OPEC members pumped a combined 31.93 million barrels of crude daily last month, down 153,000 bpd from February, the group said in the latest edition of its Monthly Oil Market Report.

That effort has pushed oil prices above $50 a barrel in recent months, breathing life into USA oil patches like the Permian Basin.

On the US economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected decline in import prices in the month of March.

WTI futures for April delivery were marked around 0.37% higher from Tuesday's close at $53.60 per barrel, after having traded as high as $54.00 earlier in the session.

OPEC and other producers, including Russian Federation, agreed late in November to curb output by around 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017 to rein in oversupply.

While compliance from some participants has been patchy, Saudi Arabia has made significant cuts, with production PRODN-SA down 4.5 since the end of previous year, despite a slight increase in March to 9.98 million bpd.

The IEA trimmed its oil demand growth forecast for 2017 by 40,000 barrels per day and warned that its revised level of 1.3 million barrels per day "could prove optimistic".

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Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are leading the agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curtail oil supplies and end a three year surplus. Reports this week said that OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is pushing the cartel's producers to extend the agreement by another six months at their meeting in May.

In the United States, production and inventories are surging.

According to the renewed forecast, in 2017, the demand for oil will be 96.32 mln barrels per day against 96.31 mln barrels per day under the March estimate. If confirmed by U.S. Energy Information Administration figures on Wednesday, oil could get another boost.

American drivers jumping into their cars this summer for long-distance journeys are expected to buoy global oil demand, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

With the increasing rig count pointing to rising supply, Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging, said OPEC would be watching.

"Upward revisions were seen in Russia's production due to the approval of production ramp ups from the three new projects started up past year including Filanovsky in the Caspian", the OPEC said.

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