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The oil prices has become steady at $71 as OPEC signaled that it has the ability to fill in the supply gap only if US sanctions are curtailed from shipments from Iran, which is the third largest producer of this group.

Brent for July settlement rose 44c to $78.67 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after Monday's $1.11 gain.

Crude prices are higher Monday morning, with West Texas Intermediate for June delivery trading up about 0.1% at $70.79. The mere talk of forcing Iran to reduce the amount of oil they bring to the table, pushed oil prices above $70 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

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. The global benchmark crude traded at a $7.52 premium to July WTI, heading for the widest spread since 2015. Total volume traded was about 37% below the 100-day average.

Futures for September delivery were down 1.2 per cent at 465.5 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. The contract closed down 1.1 percent on Friday.

Total shale spending is expected to rise 20% year on year in 2018 and 16% in 2019, with the bulk of investment expected to flow into the United States, compared 3.5% for total non-OPEC spending this year and 8.1% the next as producers start to increase their capital expenditure.

In Beijing, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Asian nation's invitation, marking his first stop on a diplomatic tour after the USA withdrew from the nuclear deal.

"That absolute plunge in Venezuelan production. just highlights how tenuous the market is in terms of the supply-and-demand balance", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, fell about 410,000 barrels between May 8 and May 11, said traders, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

Since the accord was reached at the end of 2016, oil prices have climbed to their highest in almost four years to exceed $77 a barrel, up from $30 in early 2016.

Iranian exports, which total around 2.5 million barrels per day, could decline by 500,000 to 1 million barrels per day as a result of Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear pact, which would be bullish for oil prices.

WTI is now trading above $70.80.