OPEC set to prolong cuts as delegates predict smooth meet

Both countries were not subject to any limits in the initial six-months, and both have added output and signaled more production growth in the near future. The most influential members of the deal, including Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, have publicly backed supply curbs lasting until March 2018. New allegations have surfaced claiming he tried to pressure intelligence chiefs to push back against James Comey's Russian Federation investigation publicly, while a sinkhole in front of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida piqued everyone's interest. USA oil inventories have increased ~42 million barrels so far this year and have started to fall now in the summer months. On Tuesday, Kuwait's oil minister said there was broad consensus for extending the deal.

The announcement pulled down front-month crude futures prices. "Everybody I talked to... expressed support and enthusiasm to join in this direction, but of course it doesn't preempt any creative suggestions that may come about", Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said at a news conference in Riyadh.

Although the first few months of their output-reduction deal has shown some success, many analysts see it taking at least until next year before supply curbs can catch up with gently rising demand to start sufficiently reducing the oil glut from historically high levels. The supply reductions were initially meant to last six months from January, but the slower-than-expected decline in surplus fuel inventories prompted the group to consider an extension.

OPEC wants to reduce global oil inventories to their five-year average but so far has struggled to do so.

Other Non-Opec production is also receiving a boost at higher prices.

Releasing reserves would add supplies to already high and rising US production.

With shale companies turning into leaner and fitter outfits able to thrive at $50/bbl, more is coming, with the EIA predicting USA output will hit a record above 10 MMbpd next year.

"We continue to build in what the market expects is an extension of cuts".

NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices settled a bit higher on Tuesday as expectations of an extension to OPEC-led supply cuts overshadowed a White House proposal to sell half of US petroleum reserves.

Noureddine Boutarfa, energy minister of OPEC member Algeria, said OPEC was discussing a possible nine-month extension, with curbs kept at the same level as under the group's existing deal.

IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp observed that Kuwait had let everyone know that a big extension in cuts could be hard to achieve. That would not be in the interest of a balanced and healthy global oil and gas market, he said.

"The second half of the year is looking pretty decent with or without the Opec cut, but it is when you look into next year, that is our real concern", said Alexander Poegl, the head of business development at JBC Energy consultants in Vienna.

By 1415 GMT, Brent crude was trading flat. And that's where Thursday's OPEC meeting comes into play.

Crude futures settled at a five-week high on Tuesday, ahead of the release of a fresh batch of USA crude inventories data, expected to show a decline in crude stockpiles for a sixth-straight week amid growing expectations that OPEC will extend production cuts later this week.

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