Nigeria preparing to comply with OPEC output cap: Kachikwu

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"Oil prices are now depressed at $60-$70/b and, coupled with the production quota imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria will begin to look at its priorities differently", Kachikwu said in an oil ministry statement.

"As a result, prices could be maintained at recent levels even as US production rises", IEA researchers said.

Plunging prices forced some higher-cost US producers to close up shop.

"By the end of this year, the U.S. might also overtake Russian Federation to become the global leader". US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 17c to $59.37 a barrel.

RIYADH, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will restrain its oil exports in March despite lower domestic need for crude as OPEC's leader is pushing to eliminate fully the global oil glut and combat worries about a new cycle of oil price weakness.

And environmentalists argue that the process - known as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing technology - may contaminate ground water and even cause small earthquakes.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources, H.E. Khalid Al Falih, will be presented with the "International Oil Diplomacy Person of the Year 2017" Award at the Energy Institute's International Petroleum (IP) Week on February 22nd in London.

The U.S. crude oil renaissance isn't new. "As a result, prices could be maintained at recent levels even as United States production rises", the IEA suggested.

"Even if we don't see outsized price increases ... from a total return perspective, commodity returns will benefit from a change to positive roll yields based on the reshaping and structuring of the fundamental market", Maxwell Gold, director of investment strategy and research at ETF Securities, said.

Last month, Brent rose as high as $71 per barrel in intra-day trading for the first time since 2014, but prices have since slumped.

Nevertheless, wooed by rising crude prices, shale producers, particularly in the United States - who are not party to the deal - are ramping up output to cash in on the boom.

Secondly, geopolitical factors have also played a role both tangibly and intangibly.

World oil demand in 2018 is projected to grow by 1.59m bbl/day to 98.6m bbl/day, on the back of a steady rise in global economic activities and increased vehicles sales in the US, China and India, according to the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) published on Monday.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 1.050 million barrels of crude oil, along with a draw in gasoline inventories of 227,000 barrels.

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