Oil prices steady amid signals of higher demand

Oil prices steady amid signals of higher demand

The production decrease was partially offset by increases in Libya and Nigeria, which are not participating in the agreement.

Also all the non-OPEC oil producing countries, as well as Russian Federation, shall follow suit and play along, otherwise the six-month agreement - which can be renewed indefinitely - will have no value.

Qatar's energy minister, the current OPEC president, said Wednesday that world oil markets were "responding positively" to output cuts implemented by the cartel and some non-cartel producers.

Global oil supplies have decreased as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and producers outside the group comply with a six-month deal to curb output that took effect on January 1, Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada said Wednesday at a news briefing in Doha.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) - one of OPEC's six sources - said the cuts in January equated to 90 percent of the agreed reductions in output, far higher than the initial 60 percent compliance with a 2009 OPEC deal.

OPEC has made a strong start to the process it says will take six months, said IEA, which is based in Paris and advises most of the major economies of the world on energy policies. "In 2017, assuming normal weather conditions we expect demand to grow by 1.4 mb/d, an increase of 0.1 mb/d from the last report", notes the agency.

On the global scale, oil supplies dropped by nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, with both OPEC and non-OPEC countries producing less. OPEC's compliance with the accord on output has been very good, and non-OPEC producers have begun cutting production and pledged to reach their targets quickly, the Oil Ministry's Shana news service reported him as saying. Capital Economics analysts said in a note: "We think United States production is likely to rebound". Geopolitical risk and the oil nations' production cuts gave a floor to prices while fears of a too strong USA supply response and US oil inventories limited the upside evolution. Output from those three countries is likely to rise by a combined 750,000 b/d this year, it said. This could hit hard the revenues of oil producers of the gulf and many other countries besides creating unfavourable platform of lower oil prices to Saudi Aramco for valuation of its IPO, scheduled in 2018.

Sierra Wireless Inc surged more than 26 pe rcent to $30.87 after reporting fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results on Thursday. We now do not see signs indicating that this won't happen otherwise. It said: "Some producers, notably Saudi Arabia, (are) appearing to cut by more than required".

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