From Bloomberg:

OPEC’s strategy to defend market share rather than target a price is working as crude gains amid rising demand and declining output from producers including U.S. shale wells, Kuwait’s acting oil minister said.

Oil will end the year at $50 a barrel and the market will rebalance in the third or fourth quarter, Anas Al-Saleh said in an interview Wednesday in Kuwait City. Kuwait will stick to OPEC’s strategy of pumping to win customers, he said. Demand is growing and about 3 million barrels of daily crude supply have been lost to interruptions or because some producers have been priced out of the market, he said.

OPEC’s market share “theory has been working well,”  Al-Saleh, who is also finance minister and deputy prime minister, said. “Now we see better prices in the market, demand has been increasing – part of it is outages of production in Canada, Libya, Nigeria and the shale oil.”

Oil prices have fallen by more than 35 percent since the November 2014 meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, when Kuwait joined Saudi Arabia in leading the producers’ group to shift from supporting prices to defending sales against higher-cost output including U.S. shale. The decline in prices and oil revenue strained Kuwait’s official budget. Benchmark Brent crude, which has rebounded from a 12-year low in January, slipped as much as 2.7 percent to $47.59 a barrel on Thursday and traded at $47.79 at 12:02 p.m. in London.

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