The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).
Crude prices traded roughly flat on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in a generation, helping to rebalance a market dogged by oversupply.
IEA chief Fatih Birol said low oil prices had cut investment by about 40 percent in the past two years, with sharp falls in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Russia.
Also on Thursday, OPEC’s secretary general said the oil market will begin rebalancing by the third quarter of this year and will turn positive by 2017 despite world’s top producers failing to reach an agreement to freeze production during a weekend meeting in Doha.
“Doha or no Doha, we see that the market is turning,” Abdullah El-Badri told an oil summit in Paris.
El-Badri also said he expects OPEC members to discuss an output freeze at a previously scheduled June meeting, Dow Jones reported.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 11 cents at $45.91 a barrel by 8:45 a.m. ET (1245 GMT).
U.S. crude futures were 3 cents higher at $44.21.
Both crudes have gained around 70 percent in value from their lows reached between January and February.
The drop in supply from some producers could be offset by increased production in countries including Russia and Iran, however.
Russia’s energy minister said the country might push oil production to historic highs. Iran has reiterated its intention to reach output of 4 million barrels per day, after a global deal to freeze output collapsed and Saudi Arabia threatened to flood markets with more crude.
Nigeria will hold talks with Saudi Arabia, Iran and other producers by May, hoping to reach a deal on an output freeze at the next OPEC meeting in June, the West African country’s oil minister told Reuters.
“The focus of the market is primarily on price-supportive news and that’s just an indication of how sentiment is,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.
Hansen said fund flows into commodities had been strong this week, driven by a weaker dollar.
Earlier this week, the dollar hit 10-month lows against some commodity-related currencies. The Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index rose to its highest since early December.
“This whole recovery has been driven by supply being capped and supply is price-sensitive and again we’re back to levels where we could see some of these producers breathe again,” Hansen said.
French bank BNP Paribas said any hope of the market rebalancing from the current surplus relied on a predicted decline in U.S. oil production.
“The U.S. accounts for the bulk of non-OPEC’s 2016 oil supply contraction of 700,000 barrels per day forecast. If the decline in the U.S. oil supply proves insufficient to tighten balances, then … the oil price will remain low,” it said.
In refined products, China’s exports of diesel and gasoline soared, spilling surplus fuel into a market that is already well supplied, and threatening to cut Asian benchmark refining margins further.