Oil prices down as White House proposes selling US oil reserves

Their timing might actually help OPEC reach some of its long-range goals of keeping the oil market balanced by limiting expectations of higher prices that could encourage future production.

The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, has recently visited Vienna to co-chair the 2nd India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue held at the OPEC headquarters in Austria.

OPEC and 11 non-members agreed previous year to cut output by as much as 1.8 MMbpd.

"After our conversation with the prime minister, he gave the green light to his excellency (the Iraqi oil minister) to approve" the nine-month extension, Falih said.

Speaking on Bloomberg television, Dicker credited Saudi Arabia for being "totally transparent" in their business dealings and OPEC members "for having all the discipline" in following through with their promised cutbacks; he also condemned the US for "maniacally" undercutting the success of the cutbacks with steadily rising production. Al-Falih says he doesn't expect any objections to a nine-month extension to the output cut deal between OPEC and none-OPEC members through March 2018.

Gordon Kwan, head of regional energy research at Nomura, said deeper production cuts of more than 2 million barrels a day may be on the card as Saudi Arabia is showing signs of impatience with the pace of rebalancing, which is happening slowly as usa producers have stepped up output this year.

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Crude has risen around 9% in the past two weeks with investors banking that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers will extend their production cuts that are due to expire in June.

"A harsh reality may emerge, likely well after the May 2017 meeting, that the price at which shale can grow quickly could be much lower than the price OPEC members want and need", said Jamie Webster at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Separately, non-OPEC nations Oman and Mexico also confirmed their support for a nine-month extension.

The cuts will prove to be more effective in eliminating the supply glut in the second half, said United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

As the shale producers were able to reduce their breakeven drastically, they are likely to remain as a dominant force in the global oil market not only for months but years to come.

The key is whether stocks are declining, but an extension of the cut can keep oil prices above $50, he added. The United Arab Emirates achieved just 57 percent of its cut in the first quarter but exceeded its target in April, and many non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation also missed their goals.

The first OPEC delegate said he did not believe OPEC would deepen existing cuts, unless Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies offered to take the bulk of the hit: "I still believe it is unlikely at this point".

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