Oil rises on expectations of extended OPEC-led production cut

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June traded at $47.87 a barrel at 0256 GMT, up $0.04 in the Globex electronic session.

Whether OPEC continues its production cut in the second half of the year is a key factor that will influence Urals arbitrage to India, traders said.

". Given that the market is now out of patience, upside will need to be front-end driven, coming from observable near-term physical tightness in the coming months".

Chris Bake, executive committee member for Vitol, told the S&P Global Platts Crude Oil Summit that "This 550 million barrel-plus inventory build of crude and products that started in 2014 is still very much there; how much is tertiary or strategic, how much is going to come out, that is an ongoing debate among all of us". "As a result, we maintain our commodity overweight recommendation and are forecasting 3-month and 12-month ahead returns of 13.3% and 12.2% respectively".

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However, the OPEC report also noted that the cartel expects non-OPEC oil supplies to rise by 950,000 barrels a day this year, an upgrade from last month's forecast.

OPEC and the other participating producers are scheduled to meet on May 25 in Vienna, Austria, to decide whether to extend the cuts and, potentially, agree a deeper reduction.

But the market along with analysts have demonstrated a knack for downplaying troubling fundamentals in favour of empty optimism, and expectations have lowered to a point where experts are now putting their faith in an OPEC cutback extension not because it will rectify the supply and demand balance, but because it could prevent oil's slide into the $30s. But the OPEC report confirmed the cartel´s concern about a recovery in USA oil output.

Oil prices have since gained support but global inventories remain high, pulling crude LCOc1 back toward $50 a barrel and putting pressure on OPEC to extend or possibly add to the cuts at least until the end of 2017.

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Total non-OPEC growth rose to 580,000 barrels in April; U.S. production accounted for the bulk of non-OPEC growth around 540,000 barrels, or 93%.

USA crude oil production has already risen by over 10 percent since its mid-2016 trough, to more than 9.3 million bpd, close to levels of top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. "Lower 48 (all states excluding Alaska and Hawaii) oil production is set to expand by an additional 390,000 bpd from May 2017 to December 2017 assuming a WTI price of $50 per barrel".

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes will report weekly USA rig count data on Friday.

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