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Oil has risen 2 percent since this morning on speculation ahead of a meeting tomorrow in Doha among ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela.
After-hours Brent crude trading today gained more than 60 cents, rising to more than $34 per barrel by 2:30 p.m. EST.
U.S. futures gained about 30 cents by the close of trade at 1 p.m. EST.
Much of the price speculation comes because the meeting was unannounced and some believe this means there could be a production slash deal in the works.
The meeting will be attended by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi.
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“The back channel talks, which Qatar is brokering, had been in place for a while,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, told Bloomberg. “These are still very early days and nothing concrete has been agreed, but there is a growing sense that countries could be more flexible, although Riyadh would insist that everyone else contribute to the cut.”
Earlier on Monday, crude oil prices had gained somewhat on a statement by UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei suggesting that OPEC was potentially willing to discuss a production cut. On Monday morning, light, sweet crude future for March delivery wase up 39 cents, or 1.4 percent, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reaching $29.83 per barrel.
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Brent crude for April delivery was up 31 cents, or 0.9Q percent, on London’s ICE Futures exchange, reaching $33.67 per barrel after falling below $30 on Thursday.
The surprise Doha meeting has now pushed prices up to their impressive Friday gains, but one negative sentiment tomorrow will send them back down.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com