Oil prices rose on Wednesday, extending a recent long string of gains amid optimism that an OPEC-brokered agreement to cut output will be extended.
Global benchmark Brent futures rose 36 cents or 0.64% to $56.59 a barrel, the highest level since early March on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.
U.S. crude oil was trading at $53.69 a barrel at 09.54 GMT, up 29 cents or 0.54%, also the highest since early March.
Prices were boosted following reports that Saudi Arabia has told officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it wants to extend an agreement to cut output for another six months when the group meets in May.
A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers will meet in late April to present its recommendation on the fate of the pact. A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.
In November of last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day during the first half of 2017 in a bid to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.
Production cuts began in January for a period of six months until June.
But the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production has threatened to derail efforts by other major producers to curb oversupply.
Oil traders were looking ahead to official U.S. production and inventory figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, the industry group American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fell 1.3 million barrels at the end of last week.
Last week, figures by the two groups diverged with API showing a crude draw and EIA a build.