Oil prices have increased, supported by demand growth expectations in China, as well as signs that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members are set to cut production.

Prices for Brent crude futures increased 19¢ to $55.29 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 4¢ and traded at $52.29 a barrel, Reuters reported.

China National Petroleum (CNPC) said that the country’s net crude imports are set to increase 5.3% to 396 million tonnes this year.

"Compliance to the OPEC/non-OPEC oil production cut appears to be positive."

China’s total crude demand will reach 594 million tonnes.

Despite some supply reductions next month to China, India and Malaysia, Saudi Arabia is concentrating its cuts in Europe and the US.

OPEC member Iraq said that production was cut by 160,000bpd since the beginning of this month, and it would be by 210,000bpd by the end of the month.

BMI Research was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Compliance to the OPEC/non-OPEC oil production cut appears to be positive, and that we calculate compliance with production cuts at around 73%."

Traders said that an inventory report published by the US Energy Information Administration implied ongoing supply glut as crude stocks increased by 4.1 million barrels to 483.11 million barrels.