LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Oil jumped to its highest level in more than two weeks after the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy ministers said they are in favor of extending a production-cut deal for nine months.
Futures added as much as 3.6% in New York. While output curbs that started Jan. 1 are working, global inventories aren’t yet at the level targeted by OPEC and its allies, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Beijing alongside his Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak. The ministers agreed the deal should be extended through the first quarter of 2018 at the same volume of reductions, they said.
"While this announcement should allay some concerns in the market and lead to a short-covering rally, given the current bearish tint to sentiment, there is no guarantee of a sustained rally," said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in London.
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the largest of the 24 producers that agreed to reduce supply for six months, are reaffirming their commitment to the deal amid growing doubts about its effectiveness. An increase in Libyan output, together with a surge in North American production and signs of recovery in Nigeria, may undercut OPEC’s strategy to re-balance the market and prop up prices.
West Texas Intermediate for June delivery climbed as much as $1.74 to $49.58/bbl before trading at $49.48 on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:26 p.m. in London. Total volume traded was almost double the 100-day average. The contract gained 3.5% last week.
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 16 September 2019 – Brent: US$69/b; WTI: US$63/b
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