Oil prices rose today after Saudi Arabia started talks with customers about a reduction in crude sales to support a plan by OPEC to lower global supply.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries promised in November to cut output to help prop up prices.
Under the deal, Saudi Arabia agreed to cut output by 486,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 4.61% of its October output of 10.544 million bpd.
"Aramco is approaching all its customers for possible cuts from February and discussing likely (supply) scenarios," one source told Reuters, referring to state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Investors have been suspicious that OPEC may not cut as much as promised, but several sources told Reuters today that the world's biggest oil exporter intended to lower exports to comply with the OPEC reductions.
Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 50 cents a barrel at $56.96 this afternoon, while US light crude was up 45 cents a barrel at $53.71. Both contracts rose by around 2% yesterday.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs said even if OPEC reduced production as promised, there was "only moderate oil spot price upside given the expected supply response to higher oil prices and new production".
The bank said it expected Brent prices to peak at $59 a barrel by the middle of this year.
In another sign of compliance with the cuts, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has scheduled maintenance at oilfields for March and April, although it was not immediately clear how much exports might fall.
Oil prices also found support from an American Petroleum Institute report showing US crude inventories fell 7.4 million barrels last week.