Crude oil settles higher as Saudi oil chief discusses extending cuts

6 2017 shows the Hotel Mercure in Marigot near the Bay of Nettle on the French Collectivity of Saint Martin during the passage of Hurricane Irma

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel's efforts to curb excess supply.

Crude futures rose earlier on Wednesday after the International Energy Agency said the global oil surplus was starting to shrink due to robust global demand and an output drop from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers. "The focus now shifts to the post-Harvey scenario", he said.

Nevertheless, the IEA said it was cautious about the extent of any post-recovery rally, saying that "expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly". West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was up 1 percent to $48.71 per barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised its 2017 and 2018 U.S. oil output forecasts lower to reflect, in part, the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

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The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, has declined steadily and, when the value of the greenback falls, commodity prices increase because more dollars are required to purchase the same quantity as when the value was higher.

"Demand growth continues to be stronger than expected, particularly in Europe and the US", the IEA said, raising its 2017 global oil demand growth estimate to 1.6 million barrels per day from 1.5 million bpd.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed that domestic crude supplies climbed by 5.9 million barrels for the week ended September 8. Based on the current global oil supply/demand balance, it said, Opec crude in 2017 is estimated at 32.7 mpbd, around 0.5 mpbd higher than in 2016.

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