Brent Crude Edges Up

Brent Crude Edges UpBrent Crude Edges Up

Oil prices edged higher for a second consecutive session on Friday on hopes that non-OPEC producers meeting in Vienna would agree to cut output to bolster the group’s own agreement to limit production.

Brent crude for February delivery was up 25 cents at $54.14 a barrel on Friday, after rising 1.7% on Thursday.

The contract hit its highest since July 2015 at $55.33 on Monday. US crude for January delivery was up 40 cents at $51.24 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Still, both benchmarks remained roughly 2% below the highs reached just after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced plans to cut production late last month, and were on track to close the week with small losses.

On Saturday, oil ministers from OPEC countries are scheduled to meet non-OPEC producers in Vienna to seek help in curbing a global glut.

Russia has said it would cut 300,000 barrels per day, meaning other non-OPEC producers combined would need to pledge the same amount to lower output by the 600,000 bpd OPEC wants - half the reduction OPEC is making.

Azerbaijan has said it will come to the Austrian capital with proposals for its own reduction. Kazakhstan may offer to freeze output at last month’s level, Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said.

Still, questions remained over such output plans.

“The market wants to find an excuse to move higher and is therefore inclined to believe,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. “It’s questionable whether those beliefs are sustainable.”


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