U.S. crude lost more ground yesterday on rising U.S. oil output, although Opec production cuts continued to offer support.
On the other hand, analysts have been closely watching the production growth from OPEC players that were not included in the production cuts deal, including Libya and Nigeria.
Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Sudan and South Sudan are the other non-OPEC producers party to the deal.
The Energy Information Administration said inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels last week.
Away from the oil market, precious metals continued to register massive slides as the dollar remained strong, with gold sliding below $1,235 an ounce from $1,250-levels earlier in the week.
FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said gold may be destined to display explosive levels of volatility in March, as uncertainty coupled with the prospects of higher USA interest rates prompts investors to offload and reload positions in an effort to be on the winning side.
Novak said oil production in the United States may rise by between 400,000 bpd and 500,000 bpd this year.
Despite the increased activity, however, production is expected to recover relatively slowly.
"The announcements from OPEC over the last couple of weeks; the concerted effort to show the market that this deal that they struck in November", Love said.
It will be recalled that Brent crude fell 0.2 percent in February, its largest slide in the second month of the year in four years.
USA production rose 0.3% to 9.032 million barrels per day, hitting the highest level in almost a year.
Libyan officials have suggested their 1.2 million b/d target by end-year could be met by August - an increase of 500,000 b/d.
Since the end of 2016, OPEC has switched tack and has been willing to sacrifice market share to push prices up. For more on crude oil prices, read Part 1 of this series. Over the last decade, McCracken has published a wide variety of analysis on oil, natural gas, coal and power markets.