Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 68 cents at $49.41 a barrel by 1327 GMT (9.27 a.m. ET). U.S. light crude CLc1 oil was 69 cents higher at $46.57 a barrel.
North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in April, $1/b higher than the March average and the fifth consecutive month that Brent crude oil spot prices averaged between $50/b and $55/b. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $53/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s conventional approach to market management is no longer working: crude has fallen back below $50 a barrel, US shale oil output is again on the rise and Saudi-led Opec, if anything, is worse off than when it agreed the supply deal back in November, having cut volumes for little upside on price.
The resurgence of the US shale industry after the oil slump of 2014 was a key factor in how crude prices fell sharply last week, to back below $50 per barrel. The market is concerned about whether efforts by Opec, the producers’ cartel, to tackle a supply glut by curbing output will be undermined by reinvigorated US shale companies.
U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 2.09 percent to $46.47 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $49.45, up 2.21 percent on the day.
"The good news is that the market is moving towards rebalancing," Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said at the International Oil Summit in Paris last week. "There has also been a rapid drawdown of floating storage in the first quarter of this year. This is being driven by improving fundamentals and the OPEC deal."
OPEC's largest producer Saudi Arabia averaged 9.97 million b/d in April, according to the survey, below its quota under the deal of 10.058 million b/d.
One of the highest priorities in Russia's gas export and marketing strategy is establishing its own southern corridor for gas exports to Europe, in competition with the EU-backed project.
Statoil reports adjusted earnings of USD 3.3 billion and an IFRS net operating income of USD 4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017. The IFRS net income was USD 1.1 billion.
Compared with the first quarter 2016, CCS earnings attributable to shareholders excluding identified items increased by $2.2 billion, mainly driven by higher contributions from Upstream and Chemicals, partly offset by higher net interest expense.