This story was updated at 3:50 p.m. EST.
The price of Brent crude oil hit its highest level of the year Monday, rising above $40 a barrel and jumping more than 5 percent as investors moved funds into oil following reports OPEC producers want a higher anchor price after a selloff that has lasted nearly two years, Reuters reported.
Earlier Monday, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, edged toward $40 per barrel, extending a monthlong rally, on hopes of lower supply and improving global outlook. Prices surged during morning trade in Asia, as U.S. drillers cut the number of active rigs to a six-year low.
"It looks at this stage as if it [oil] has formed a little bit of a bottom and perhaps we're going to see a sustained price in the $30s, maybe trending back up to $40 at some point," Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress, told Reuters.
Last week, the number of rigs drilling for crude in the United States dropped by eight to 392, the lowest level since 2009, according to reports. The rig count fell as U.S. shale producers cut costs to refinance upcoming debt.
On the demand side, suppliers received some positive news last week. U.S. jobs growth rebounded as the economy added better than expected 242,000 nonfarm payrolls in February and China promised to maintain a growth rate of 6.5 to 7 percent for the year.
"China's oil import will remain strong, because domestic crude production is declining and appetite for foreign crude by the independent refineries is growing," Gao Jian, an energy analyst at the Shandong-based SCI International, told the Wall Street Journal.
However, not all analysts were convinced about the sustainability of the oil price surge, warning that the global oil glut remained and prices could still drop back. About 1 million to 2 million barrels of crude are produced every day in excess of demand, according to analysts' estimates.
While Barclays warned that the recent price rises had "wobbly legs," Morgan Stanley said the "upside should be limited by bloated global inventories and producer hedging. Moreover, we worry that this latest oil bounce shares many features of the 2Q15 false oil rally," Reuters reported.