Oil prices rose on Monday, lifted by comments from Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih that an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June and a report showing a fall U.S. drilling activity.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.39 per barrel at 0323 GMT GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, Reuters said.
Brent crude futures were at $65.04 per barrel, up 30 cents, or 0.5 per cent.
Despite the gains, markets were somewhat held back after U.S. employment data raised concerns that an economic slowdown in Asia and Europe was spilling into the United States, where growth has so far still been healthy.
“Downward revisions in global growth forecasts by OECD and ECB have capped bullish gains,” said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.
Oil markets have generally been supported this year by ongoing supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-affiliated allies like Russia – known as the OPEC+ alliance.
OPEC+ has pledged to cut 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude supply since the start of the year to tighten markets and prop up prices.
The group will meet in Vienna on April 17-18, with another gathering scheduled for June 25-26, to discuss supply policy.
Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group’s meeting in April.
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