IOC says OPEC output cut won't hit imports

"There have been suggestions [of deeper cuts], many member countries have indicated flexibility but. that won't be necessary", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said before the meeting.

Oil prices rose ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday that is expected to extend output cuts into 2018, adding at least nine months to an initial six-month curb in the first half of this year.

OPEC disclosed in a statement to journalists that following the conclusion of the 172nd meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, yesterday, at the OPEC secretariat in Vienna, Austria, ministers from OPEC member countries met with their counterparts from non-OPEC oil producing countries that participated in the Declaration of Cooperation of 10 December 2016. But the hoped-for benefits could be short-lived.

But in the longer term, there are concerns among OPEC countries that higher oil prices may end up being counterproductive as they encourage USA shale gas producers to re-enter the market - a development that could weigh on oil prices.

Today, we're giving you our bold new oil price prediction now that OPEC renewed its production cut agreement for nine more months.

OPEC discussed in Vienna with other 11 non-members, where they agreed to cut oil prices in the first half of 2017 by about 1.8 million barrels per day.

OPEC and key producers including Russian Federation agreed Thursday to extend curbs on oil output to the end of March 2018.

Miswin Mahesh, an oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC via telephone that "oil prices are always choppy at this point" when OPEC meetings are happening.

Iran s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that the "goal" at the moment was a price of $55-60 per barrel, saying this was "good for both" shale and conventional producers.

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A report published after market hours Wednesday by Wood Mackenzie found that, while deeper cuts are on the table, the most likely scenario for the multilateral effort is the nine-month extension.

Speculation was rife that the cuts may be extended by nine and possibly 12 months, said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

"We very much are benefitting from the improved oil price, you know it went as low as $28 a barrel".

Oil prices that topped $100 a barrel in 2014 may have helped shale oil production feasible.

More than 400 oil rigs are now working US shale fields - an increase of more than 120 per cent compared with a year ago.

He said "It is apparent that there is an agreement between members of the organisation to extend the body's output cut plan".

More than 400 oil rigs are now working USA shale fields - an increase of more than 120 percent compared with a year ago.

In late November a year ago, the OPEC member states signed an agreement in Vienna on limiting oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

Production curbs have helped prices soar above $50 a barrel this year.

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