Oil rises 2 percent, boosted by potential OPEC deal
Oil prices rose about 2 percent on Thursday as signs Saudi Arabia and Russia would limit production through next year pushed the USbenchmark back above $50 a barrel. The news outweighed Wednesday’s US data showing record US exports and the return of production at a major Libyan oilfield. Brent futures settled at $57 a barrel, up 2.2 percent, or $1.20, while US crude rose 81 cents, or 1.6 percent, to end at $50.79.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that a pledge by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, to cut oil output to boost prices could be extended to the end of 2018, instead of expiring in March 2018. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that Moscow would support new countries joining the agreement to restrict oil supply. The statement came as Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited Moscow. “Putin and Salman will most likely reach, but not announce, an agreement to extend the OPEC/non-OPEC production deal, though with a commitment to taper the cuts,” said Eurasia Group.