Oil prices rose sharply after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said producers may take action to help rebalance global oil markets. The remarks helped send prices up more than 4 per cent in New York, where a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for September delivery closed up $1.78 at $43.49, after having lost more than a dollar the day before. In London, North Sea Brent for October delivery rose $1.99 to $46.04 a barrel on the Intercontinental Exchange. Matt Smith of ClipperData said the whipsawing of prices was “crazy.” Smith said oil prices had dropped yesterday after Saudi oil production figures showed the country’s output had risen last month to nearly 11 million barrels per day. But in remarks reported today, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said an informal meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) scheduled for next month would be the occasion for producers to discuss “any possible action.” Saudi Arabia’s offer to take action was “completely at odds with this production data,” Smith told AFP.