Initial talks are being led by the energy ministers of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation at St. Petersburg this week along with their counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, which holds the OPEC presidency this year, sources said.
Over the last month the price of oil came within a whisker of $80 per barrel due to political volatility and a supply dip, but fresh increases in production have seen the price of the black stuff start to slide. "Oil was already on the defensive". Futures are headed for a fifth straight session of declines, the longest such stretch since February 9.
Traders will have to wait until Thursday to see the latest data from the Energy Information Administration on USA petroleum supplies, which will be released a day later than usual because of Monday's holiday. Trades will be booked on Tuesday for settlement purposes. Prices dropped $2.83 to $67.88 on Friday, the biggest loss since July 5.
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WTI is trading below its 50-day moving average, a closely watched technical level.
Over the past month, the five-year forward oil prices that generally trade in a much narrower band than front-month futures have rallied more than the prompt prices. While Brent prices have risen some 14% over the past three months, WTI is up just 7.5%and Midland crude - the version of WTI priced in the booming Permian basin rather than the benchmark delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma - is down 4.8%.
Brent settled up $2.11, or 2.8 percent, at $77.50 a barrel. "No matter how you slice it we're still bullish on crude oil with WTI in the mid-US$60s/bbl", Scotiabank analyst Michael Loewen wrote in a report. He was echoing concerns voiced a week earlier by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises major oil-consuming nations.
The price for Brent was up 0.97 percent as of 9:15 a.m. EDT to $76.05 per barrel.
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Suhail Al Mazrouei, energy minister for the United Arab Emirates and current holder of OPEC's rotating presidency, said the group as a whole will decide whether to adjust production.
"Given that our crude balance is short some 825,000 bpd over (the second half of the year), a gradual increase of about 1 million bpd would probably limit stock draws to quite some extent", Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.
"The market has not appreciated yet the degree and scope of these changes", Joswick said. "We respect all the member countries".
"I think the output reduction will not be as significant as many expect", RIA news agency quoted Novak as saying when asked if he agreed with an estimate that the sanctions could remove as much as 800,000 barrels a day from the market.
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Since early 2017, an OPEC-led group of producers has been trimming supply in the hopes of stabilizing prices and reducing the supply glut.