The Kremlin-controlled company also said it has concluded a two-year deal with French oil major Total to supply crude oil via the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline to Germany, amounting to between 4.8 million tonned and 10.8 million tonnes. Higher crude oil prices, meanwhile, support the value for the eventual public offering of Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company in the world.
USA light crude was 15 cents lower at $70.81 a barrel, also not far off its highest since November 2014.
In April, Chinese crude oil imports set a new record-at 9.6 million bpd they beat the previous daily record of 9.57 million bpd from January this year.
They include Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, Saudi Arabia's desire for $85-a-barrel oil prices (a level the International Monetary Fund says it needs to balance its budget), a production cooperation agreement between OPEC members (led by Saudi Arabia) and non-OPEC members (led by Russia) to support oil prices, the upcoming US driving season (which tends to increase demand) and the upcoming intital public offering of Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company.
Oil held gains near $71 a barrel after escalating conflict in the Middle East raised geopolitical risks and as most OPEC members cut output more than required last month.
Robinson Cano leaves Mariners game after cringing hit-by-pitch
If he's forced to miss significant time, then the Mariners will certainly have a tough time replacing his production. Castellanos was hit by a pitch in the first inning and had his left hand checked before going to first base.
Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the de facto leader of an effort to drain a surplus from the five-year average in global crude oil inventories. Looking at trading volumes, the recent move up has been accompanied by lower volumes.
Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $77.07 per barrel down 5 cents from their last close, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.66 a barrel, down 4 cents from their last settlement. Prices on Monday gained $1.11 to close at $78.23.
Consequently, the price of Brent and WTI rose from $76.80 to $77.99 and $70.50 to $70.91 respectively in the global market. The contract closed 1.1 per cent lower on Friday.
Global demand is forecast to average 97.07 million barrels a day in 2017, up 13,000 barrels from last month's estimate. Fifty-five Palestinians were killed in confrontations with Israeli troops on Monday after tens of thousands converged on the Gaza Strip border to protest the USA embassy in Jerusalem. With more than 1 200 people wounded by live fire, it was the deadliest day in Gaza since Hamas's last war with Israel in 2014.