Oil nears $67 on Saudi's export cuts

Khalid al Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, lifted by output cuts led by producer group OPEC as well as healthy demand, although analysts said economic headwinds posed downside risks to crude markets.

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

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.

High drilling activity a year ago resulted in a more than two million barrels per day 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.

Since the beginning of the year, both benchmarks have risen around 25 percent.

The so-called OPEC+ alliance, including Russian Federation and other producers, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from 1 January for six months, which will help to boost oil prices after last year's downward trend. The group, known as OPEC+, agreed to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd for six months.

The US will rival Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest exporter of oil products within five years as shale output achieves explosive growth, catapulting America into strategic dominance of the global energy system. 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.

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OPEC member United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday it would continue to meet its obligations to cut supply under the producer agreement.

While OPEC members agreed to cut about 800,000 barrels, their non-OPEC allies led by Russian Federation resolved to cut their output by 400,000 barrels, in a bid to strengthen crude oil prices, tighten and stabilize the crude oil market.

In additional to the pledged output reduction, the crude oil markets have been getting an additional boost from the US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

News that Venezuela's crude exports have taken a hit in the wake of a mostly nationwide power outage that began late last week has also provided support for oil prices.

"US oil consumption [growth] previous year was about a half-million barrels per day, and as such it was the highest in all the countries around", Birol noted on Monday.

The first report, from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, was due out 2030 GMT, followed by the government's official supply report on Wednesday.

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