Oil futures rose on Friday after OPEC and other major producers agreed to extend their production curbs in a widely expected move aimed at ending a persistent glut in global supplies. But some analysts are warning that the real winners from the deal could be those who are not in it: U.S. producers. Laura Frykberg reports.
Efforts to fuel a rise in the oil price. Are paying off. A day after OPEC and other oil majors led by Russia agreed an extension of output cuts till the end of next year. Brent rose 44 cents to trade at over $63 a barrel. While U.S. light crude was up to just under $58. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES BEVAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA, SAYING: "I think investors recognise that the shift up in the oil price is the result of both tighter supply and demand and that we should now get used to the premise that the oil price can maintain a level in excess of 60 dollars a barrel whereas previously most analysts have been expecting a range of 45 to 55 dollars a barrel." Which has led some to question...why extend again? Especially when not all players are aboard. The U.S. continues to pump oil at record levels. Oil refineries in Asia, are now looking to them for supply. US oil exports to China have tripled since the the current production cut deal began at the start of the year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "My suspicion moving forward in terms of the oil price is that actually things have gone a little ahead of themselves positioning is a little bit too bullish at the moment and were probably due some sort of pullback." Russia in particular has its eye on its foe. Its energy minister outlining the importance of being able to opt out of the extension early. In case prices rise too high, encouraging more producers onto the market. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN ENERGY MINISTER, ALEXANDER NOVAK, SAYING (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "We have our own assessments of supply and demand for next year. But we are very flexible in what we can do. So making a decision now gives us even more flexibility, more time to monitor the market, more time to assess the results." One analyst took it a step further. Saying the U.S is in fact the real winner of the OPEC extension. Just last week oil production there hit a record high of more than 9 million bpd.