Oil prices rose on Thursday, with benchmark Brent crude trading comfortably above $50 a barrel after a fall in U.S. inventories and a bigger-than-expected cut in Saudi supplies to Asia helped tightened the market.
But a downbeat report from OPEC tempered early gains as the producer group said higher-than-expected production from its competitors would reduce demand for its crude this year.
Brent LCOc1 was 60 cents higher at $50.82 a barrel by 1255 GMT (8.55 a.m. ET) after hitting an early high of $51.09. U.S. light crude oil CLc1 was last up 60 cents at $47.93.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia have agreed to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year to try to reduce a global fuel glut.
OPEC meets on May 25 to decide on production policy for the second half of 2017, and most analysts expect the group to extend cuts until at least the end of the year.
OPEC has reduced output as promised, but there have been few signs so far that supply has fallen significantly as producers have shielded many key customers, especially in Asia, from cuts.