Brent Soars Above $52

Brent Soars Above $52Brent Soars Above $52

Oil rose more than 2% on Monday to $52 a barrel after top exporter Saudi Arabia and Russia said supply cuts needed to last into 2018, a step towards keeping an OPEC-led deal to support prices in place longer than originally agreed.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, had risen $1.20 to $52.04 a barrel and traded intraday at $52.26, the highest since April 26. US crude was up $1.18 at $49.02 a barrel, CNBC reported.

Oil has gained support from the supply deal but inventories remain high and output from other producers such as the United States is rising, keeping prices below the $60 that Saudi Arabia would like to see.

Energy ministers from the two countries said on Monday that they had come to the conclusion that the supply cuts agreement needs to be extended. Oil traders and analysts were surprised by the "strong" wording of the announcement.

"It is certainly a strong statement to include already 2018, while it may also be aimed at improving the chances of keeping other participants on side when it comes to the next round of talks in 10 days," analysts at JBC Energy said in a report.

OPEC and the non-OPEC countries meet to decide policy on May 25 in Vienna, and OPEC has also invited two small producers not involved in the original deal, Egypt and Turkmenistan, to attend.

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