Energy ministers of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia discuss oil production cuts

"We are seeing that the Canadian crude needs an outlet outside of Canada, If it all goes to the USA, or if we get pipelines to bring it to the markets where the demand for crude will be needed, most notably Asia, it will depend on getting the infrastructure approved in time", said Toril Busoni, an oil market analyst with the IEA.

Crude oil prices drifted lower early Monday after China lowered its economic growth estimate and USA exploration and production activity gained further ground.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih, who assumed his role last spring and whose country has contributed the largest share of OPEC output curbs, addresses the meeting on Tuesday.

Oil prices are set to rise sharply starting in 2020 if new energy investments are not made this year.

"It's premature to talk about extending the agreement", Russian oil minister Alexander Novak told reporters. A sharp rise from the USA shale patch could undo the Saudi-led deal to reduce the global oil glut.

"The U.S. can respond to higher prices faster than others".

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"They've gone so far on hopes and dreams", Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, said by telephone. Already this year, Total and BP have launched multi-billion dollar deals to expand in Brazil and Mauritania, respectively.

That newfound investment vigor and projections for stronger shale production have kept a lid on the recovery.

At 9:26pm GMT, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) front-month futures contract was down 0.26% or 14 cents at $53.19 per barrel, while the Brent contract for delivery in May was up 0.14% or 8 cents at $55.98 per barrel.

"And unless investments globally rebound sharply, a new period of price volatility looms on the horizon", he said.

In accordance with the Vienna agreement reached by OPEC and non-OPEC countries on December 10, 2016, Azerbaijan has submitted the data on oil output for February to the Joint Technical Commission of the Joint Monitoring Committee. "We may see markets tighten around 2020 and spare production capacity shrink big time".

  • Darren Santiago