Oil prices improve as crude market continues to tighten

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is seeking to hold a second meeting with USA independent oil firms as well as hedge funds, OPEC's Secretary General told Reuters, adding that no oil producer could afford to live in isolation.

The OPEC agreement with Russian Federation and 10 other producers to take off 1.8 million bpd from the global oil market was originally supposed to last for six months, but in May this year the partners made a decision to extend it until the end of March 2018.

Bloomberg reported that the Brent benchmark had erased earlier declines to trade marginally higher at $55.62 a barrel, after the news of the Saudi oil allocations cuts.

OPEC said the world would need 33.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude next year, up 230,000 bpd from its previous forecast.

"These strong and positive signs are evidence that the fundamentals of supply and demand are gradually but steadily returning to balance", he said.

Oil prices also gained support by the International Monetary Fund's prediction that global economic growth is expected to be 3.6% this year and 3.7% next year.

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WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices are now sitting at a one-week high. The API usually releases the weekly report every Tuesday, but this report is scheduled to release on Wednesday due to the USA federal holiday on Monday, October 9, 2017. OPEC does not issue price forecasts.

"A rise above that level would encourage USA oil producers to expand their drilling activities, otherwise the lower prices could lead to a reduction" in investments, it added.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday it expects U.S. crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected.

Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management said OPEC and oil bulls were "hoping U.S. producers slow down production and make further progress on inventory cuts".

Opec's forecasts see that in 2018 that both rising demand and non-Opec output will leave room for its members to pump more and reduce the glut in supplies. Should Opec keep pumping at similar levels to September, the market could move into a deficit next year, the report indicates.

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