U.S. WTI Futures Extend Gains After Saudi Arabia and Russia Signal Further Output Cut

Crude oil prices advanced by more than 2 percent on Monday, on the back of a meeting between Saudi Energy Minister and his Russian counterpart in Beijing that helped mount the possibility for a crude production cut to be extended.

While Brent crude moved past $52.00 per barrel, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped above $49.00 per barrel. After the meeting on Monday, the energy ministers of the world’s two biggest producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, which are responsible for about 20 million bpd of crude, equivalent to one-fifth of global consumption, said that a joint deal to cut crude supplies further might be extended from the middle of this year until the end of March 2018.

OPEC is due to meet in Vienna, Austria, on May 25.

Meanwhile, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc, U.S. energy firms continued to add oil rigs last week. Drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to May 12, extending the rally to a 17th week in a row. The increase sent the total count up to 712 – the highest reading since April 2015. However, the pace of the rally has declined. The total number of the last four weeks’ additions fell to the lowest since March.

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