Crude oil prices rose close to $50 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabia said all the producers that agreed to output cuts were in favour of extending the arrangement through the first quarter next year.
Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Sunday that extending the cuts, agreed in November between Opec's 13 member countries and 11 non members, would bring global stockpiles back to the five-year average.
Support for extending curbs
The minister told reporters at a news conference in Riyadh that all the countries he had spoken to "expressed support and enthusiasm to join in this direction".
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer and Opec's de facto leader, and second biggest producer Russia, one of the non members, have led calls to keep the production cuts in place.
On Monday, Khalid Al-Falih was due in Iraq to discuss the cuts with Opec's second-biggest producer. The official decision will be announced at an Opec meeting in Vienna on Thursday.
Market bulls take charge
Oil market bulls were pinning their hopes on an extension of the cuts, and Nymex West Texas Intermediate climbed 0.8% to $50.73/barrel, having been as high as $50.89. Brent crude gained 0.7% to $53.98/barrel, having reached $54.17.
Since falling to a 12-year low close to $27/barrel in January 2016, prices have largely trended between $40-$60/barrel.
Opec, and other producers would like to see prices closer to the upper level of this range.
Second-half demand pick up
Any extension to output curbs will start to coincide with the usual second-half pick up in demand that accompanies the so-called US summer driving season, which analysts believed would support prices in the coming months.
US shale producers, however, are likely to be waiting in the wings to raise their output once prices rise to levels that make their costlier methods of production more profitable.
US production increases
"During the past six months since Opec made the agreement to cut, we have seen US production increase by almost one million barrels compared to expectations back in November," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
Last week the US oil-rig count, conducted by oilfield services group Baker Hughes, rose by eight to 720, extending the longest streak of rig additions since 2011.