OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia seeks oil as high as $100

Brent crude oil climbs to fresh December 2014 high of over $74 a barrel

"If [Opec] prematurely takes the cuts off and United States production at some point over the next number of months floods the market again, this ultimately makes all of Opec's efforts over the past 15 to 16 months quite superfluous and Opec is at a point where they've seen historically high levels of compliance, so we certainly think that they will continue to keep the wheels on the bus", he added. Rocket attacks by rebels in Yemen on top oil exporter Saudi Arabia have also contributed to oil's geopolitical risk premium. More than 530,000 contracts changed hands on CME Group (Kuala Lumpur: 7018.KL - news) 's New York Mercantile Exchange, compared with an average daily of about 615,000 contracts. Late past year, they agreed to extend the pact to the end of 2018.

The oil production cuts and healthy oil demand growth have helped the global inventory surplus to almost vanish and it certainly looks very much like OPEC and allies have a "mission accomplished" within reach.

Opec, which has been curbing output by 1.8 million barrels a day since January 2017, will need to "over-tighten the market rather than under-tighten the market", to keep U.S. shale from flooding the sector, said Michael Tran, managing director, global energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets in an interview with The National in Abu Dhabi.

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"Saudi Arabia wants higher oil prices and yes, probably for the IPO, but it isn't just that", an OPEC source said.

An air strike on Syria by the United States, France and UK stoked fears of conflict with Syrian government allies Russian Federation and Iran, two of the world's biggest oil producers. Even the usual OPEC/Russia chatter of "gradual exit" from the cuts once they expire at end-2018 has not been heard on the market for a couple of months. US gasoline demand surged to a record high of 9.9 MMbbl a day before the summer driving season when consumption typically peaks. How are they going to pay for all that?

Global resource stocks were the winners from Thursday's higher in prices.

Village turns out to welcome home Grand National champion Tiger Roll
Everyone goes on about his size, but I think it's just all about his heart, he has just so much heart and leaves nothing behind". It's just fantastic to have finally done it", added the jockey who lost his mother Phyllis before the Cheltenham Festival.

The cuts have been even bigger than those specified in the deal, thanks in part to a slide in Venezuelan production due to an economic crisis in the South American country. Most officials are talking of introducing additional inventory metrics to assess the success of the deal, and of a need to support investment in new production to avert any supply crunch.

OPEC and delegations from other major oil producing countries will meet in Jeddah April 20.

The ministers are expected to discuss the five-year average inventory metric on Friday, though the JTC has made no recommendations on this, the sources said. "We have to test it".

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