US crude oil was 10 cents lower at $49.41.

The IEA sees India as the most important driver of global energy demand growth in the years to come, with its oil consumption expected to rise to about 10 million bpd by 2040.

"I see no sign from OPEC and Saudi Arabia that they will not roll over the cut into the second half of the year. the market is about to go from supply surplus to deficit on crude " said Scott Shelton, energy futures broker with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.

Oil prices slipped on Thursday after two days of increases as bloated United States inventories limited the impact of supply disruptions in Libya and lower output from other OPEC exporters. Still, prices are down 6.6 percent this quarter, their biggest three-month loss since late 2015, as USA crude stockpiles continue to pile up. That helped overshadow a gain in American output and stockpiles that have undermined production curbs this year by OPEC and its partners. "The initial liquidation in net long positions is a concern; it reflects weaker market confidence in oil prices, amid rising USA shale investment and production", said Cailin Birch, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Other oil exporters outside OPEC, including Russian Federation, have also gradually reined in production. Total volume traded was similar to the 100-day average. The contract gained $1.14 to $49.51 on Wednesday. The country will target its pledged reduction of 300,000 barrels a day by the end of April, he said.

Super Sindhu conquers Marin to win her maiden India Open title
Saina Nehwal ( women's singles) and Kidambi Srikanth ( men's singles) had earlier won the India Open Superseries badminton title. But Sindhu also had to be credited for showing her ever-improving game, especially in the cross-court net-game and defence.

On Friday, Brent futures were down 32 cents at $52.64 a barrel at 0836 GMT. For more on crude oil prices, read Part 1 of this series.

Traders said supply disruptions in Libya were lifting the market and that falling US gasoline inventories pointed to a tightening market there despite record crude stocks.

The U.S. exported around 950,000 bbl/d to 1 MMbbl/d in February, according to participants in the industry who spoke at an Argus crude oil forum in Singapore on March 28. Refineries processed 16.2 million barrels a day of crude last week, up 425,000 barrels from the prior week, according to the EIA. In contrast, it had hit a low of 8,428,000 bpd for the week ending July 1, 2016-the lowest level since June 2014. Gasoline stocks fell 2.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 2 million-barrel drop. The Energy Information Administration expects this to climb further to 9.73 million bpd in 2018.

A survey conducted by this news agency showed that combined output by the OPEC countries reduced for three consecutive months in March and the members have now complied with almost 95% of their commitments under the output-cut deal. In March, the contracts posted the biggest monthly losses since July as growing US crude inventories and drilling activity counterbalanced production cuts elsewhere in the world.


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