Oil Price Rises to $57 As Saudi Arabia Discusses Supply Cuts

Oil prices rise after Saudi Arabia started talks with customers about a reduction in crude sales to support a plan by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) who promise to lower global supply and cut output by 486,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 4.61 per cent of its October output of 10.544 million bpd to help prop up prices in November.

“Aramco is approaching all its customers for possible cuts from February and discussing likely (supply) scenarios,” one source told media referring to state oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Investors have been suspicious that OPEC might not cut as much as promised, but several sources told media on Thursday the world’s biggest oil exporter intended to lower exports to comply with the OPEC reductions.

Benchmark Brent crude oil rose to approximately 57 dollars by 1440 GMT. US light crude was up 45 cents a barrel at 53.71 dollars.

In another sign of compliance with the cuts, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has scheduled maintenance at oilfields for March and April, although it was not immediately clear how much exports might fall.

Oil prices also found support from an American Petroleum Institute report showing U.S. crude inventories fell 7.4 million barrels last week and the US government figures on inventories were due to be published at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Thursday.

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