Oil rose on Wednesday, paring earlier losses after fresh comments from Russia about its openness to talk with Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over output cuts helped revive hope among investors that the world’s largest producers could act to boost prices.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if there is consensus among the OPEC and non-OPEC members to meet, then they will meet.
This helped push the price of oil, which had been set for a third day of declines after data on Tuesday showed another big build in U.S. inventories, off the day’s lows.
Brent for April delivery LCOc1 was up 57 cents at $33.29 a barrel by 11:41 GMT, pulling away from a session low of $32.30. U.S. crude futures rose 54 cents to $30.42, off a session low of $29.40.
“Is there going to be a meeting between Russia and OPEC? That is a supportive factor in this rally,” PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.
“Oil-producing countries are at the brink of default … so the situation is dire.”
Cash-strapped Nigeria and Angola are discussing potential financing from the World Bank, which, together with the International Monetary Fund, is in talks with Azerbaijan.
The 70% drop in the crude price over the last 18 months has hit the budgets of oil-dependent nations such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, and even some of the richer Gulf nations such as Bahrain.
“Of course Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria and Algeria will be happy to take part [in an OPEC meeting], but its doubtful that the Iraqis and Iranians will agree to make a cut,”said Sarah Emerson, managing director of ESAI Energy Inc., an oil consulting company in the U.S..
“Do you think the Iranians would make a cut? And if they don’t, there’s little likelihood the Saudis would agree to one.”
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