Saudi February crude oil exports drop to 21-month low

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

Earlier Wednesday, OPEC's Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said that the cartel and other major oil producers are moving closer to end the worlds's glut oil.

"But on the other hand it could indicate some increasing resistance by certain OPEC or non-OPEC countries for an extension to the end of the year as they were planning an increase of production in the fourth quarter", he said.

US drillers last week added rigs for a 13th straight week, bringing it to its highest in roughly two years. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.2 percent to $50.75 per barrel.

Brent crude futures edged higher at $53.08 per barrel, up 15 cents or 0.3 percent from the previous session.

Oil edged higher on April 19 as OPEC said it was committed to eroding a global surplus of crude, but increasing shale production in the US and still-high global stocks threatened to pull prices lower.

Opec and several other producers including Russian Federation agreed in December to pump less oil in an orchestrated effort to end an oversupply weighing on prices.

Champs Élysées in Paris closed following reports of shooting
A French police union had announced a second officer had died, but the interior ministry later said this was not the case. There is a massive police presence on the Champs-Elysees and people have been warned to stay away from the area.

Oil dropped to the lowest in more than a week on signs United States output is rebounding, undermining OPEC's efforts to clear a global glut.

The price of oil traded nearly unchanged at 52.78 dollars per barrel following Barkindo's speech.

Nigeria and Libya were exempt from any obligation to cut as both countries continue to suffer production losses from militant attacks and political instability.

A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members to reduce oil production "surprisingly" appears to be holding, Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management in London, told New Europe on April 18.

Oil prices ended mixed on Thursday after a seesaw trading session, as investors weighed rising USA production against geopolitical uncertainties and comments from leading Gulf oil producers that an extension to OPEC-led supply cuts was likely.

"It all depends on Russia's position", an OPEC delegate said on Wednesday. OPEC met on November 30 to decide its own output cuts, and a gathering with non-OPEC took place more than a week later.

The head of OPEC says oil producers are seeking sustainable stability in crude markets as they consider whether to extend output curbs.

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