Iranian oil output to exceed 3.9m bpd in Feb.: Zanganeh

On the other hand, Goldman Sachs predicted that although crude oil inventories in the USA are expected to rise, the global oil market is showing signs of tightness and will continue to see crude stocks draw down.

USA crude imports averaged 7.6 MMBPD, up 303,000 BPD from the previous week's average.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency reported that end-December OECD total oil stocks fell below 3 billion barrels for the first time since December 2015, and that they fell 800,000 b/d in fourth-quarter 2016, the largest drop in three years. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light crude was 70 cents lower at $53.13.

Speaking to CNBC Africa, Kachikwu praised the cartel for its efforts to rebalance the market, however, saying he was confident that "prices will hold".

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"Remember one of the reasons some are skeptical about the success of OPEC cuts is because some producers like Libya have no production cap", said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.

Given that the 10 OPEC members participating achieved 91% compliance with their October baseline and that Russian Federation reduced output by 118,000 b/d in January from an overall target of 300,000 b/d in first-half 2016, it could be argued that there is not much more to come from the countries keenest to comply and make the deal a success.

"Full compliance with production cuts are not showing up in lower exports for numerous OPEC countries", he said.

The oil markets extended losses from Wednesday when government data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer, rose for an eighth straight week to a record 520.2 million barrels last week.

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Analysts say the weekly US rig count data slated for release later will a be key price mover to watch. A continuing strengthening of the USA dollar against major world currencies also lent pressure to crude prices. Lower than expected compliance from the top non-OPEC producer could have a negative impact on the production cut agreement between 24 countries.

Natural-gas prices inched down to trade about flat for the week.

On Nymex Friday, April gasoline edged up by less than a cent to $1.652 a gallon, though trading sharply lower for the week by 4.9%. It closed down $1.28, or 2.3 percent, in the previous session.

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