Oil prices have risen today, supported by reports that an OPEC-led supply cut may not only be extended into next year but might also be deepened to tighten the market and prop up prices.

Brent crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.6%, from their last close at $53.93 per barrel at 2.45am Irish time.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were back above $50 per barrel, trading up 32 cents, or 0.6%, at $50.65.

Both benchmarks have risen more than 10% from their May lows early in the month.

Prices have risen because of expectations that a pledge by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, to cut supplies by 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) would be extended to March 2018, instead of covering just the first half of this year.

The option of deepening the production cut was also being discussed ahead of a meeting of OPEC and its allies in Vienna on 25 May, sources said.

This evening, the Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Alial-Luaibi said he agreed with Saudi Arabia on the need for extending OPEC crude output cuts for a further nine months.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, speaking at the same news conference in Baghdad, said the Iraqi prime minister also agreed on the need to extend OPEC cuts for a nine-month period.

"Oil soared ... as rumours swirled that OPEC... was considering recommending the double whammy of a production cut extension and deeper cuts ahead of this Thursday's meeting," said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

James Woods, analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities, said that a deeper cut may be required to rein in oversupply.

This is because OPEC's oil supplies in 2017 have so far not actually fallen when compared with last year, when oversupply was seen at its worst.

In fact, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects "OPEC net oil export revenues will rise to about $539 billion dollars in 2017, versus 2016".

"The expected increase in OPEC's net export earnings is attributed to slightly higher forecast annual crude oil prices in 2017 as well as slightly higher OPEC output during the year," the EIA said.

OPEC's pledge to tighten the market is also being undermined by oil drillers in the United States.

Goldman Sachs says that the U.S. rig count for new oil production had jumped by 404 since May last year, a rise of 128%.

US oil production has already climbed by 10%, or almost 900,000 bpd, since mid-2016 to 9.3m bpd.