Crude rose above $53.00 for the first time in a month as Lybian production was curtailed by the government and Russia indicated it might be amenable to extending last year's OPEC brokered production cuts.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude standard climbed 1.64 percent in the May contract to settle at $53.08 a barrel on the Nymex today for the highet close since March 7th at $53.14. Since the March 27th low at $47.08 WTI has added 12.7 percent with 4.5 percnet of that coming after the U.S misslle on a Syrian air force base on Thursday in retaliation for a poision gas attack.
The output of Lybia's Sharara field was stopped without explanation by the country's National Oil Ccorporation only a week after it had resumed. The Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that his country was conducting talks with OPEC concerning the desirability of extending the original six month production cut arrangement reached in November between OPEC and 11 other oil producting nations. The Lybian field had been pumping 200,000 barrels a day.
Russia had agreed to reduce its output by 300,000 barrels a day by the end o f this month along with much larger cuts from OPEC members, primarily Saudi Arabia. So far the reductions have not raised prices as much as OPEC had anticipated, the balance being made up by increased production from North American shale drillers.
U.S exploration and production companies added 10 rigs last week, bringing the count of activy to 672, the highest level since August 2015, according to Banker Hughes Inc.