MTECHTIPS- Crude settled lower on Tuesday, after comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister seemed to dash hopes that the previously agreed production cut would be extended beyond the six-month period. Saudi minister of energy, Khalid A. Al-Falih said Tuesday, Saudi Arabia will maintain its policy of managing production for “a restricted period of time” and added that it will not be good for the market if the United States increases oil production too strongly in the next two years. In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to combat the oversupply issue that has pressured prices over the last two years. OPEC began implementing cuts of 1.16 million barrels per day at the start of this year for a period of six months. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery lost 6 cents to settle at $53.14 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent shed 10 cents to settle at $55.90 a barrel. Oil prices have traded in a narrow $3 range since February, as investors weighed the efficacy of OPEC’s production cuts against rising levels of global oil production, especially in the United States, where crude stock piles hit a record high of 520.2 million barrels last Wednesday.