Oil prices increase ahead of OPEC meeting today

The OPEC production-cut agreement was meant o bring the world’s oversupply of oil back in line with demand and thereby boost slumping crude prices. Instead, the petroleum market has remained depressed this year, with prices stuck below $50 a barrel as oil supplies remain high. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Oil prices gained on Monday after a steep fall the session before, buoyed by expectations that a joint OPEC and non-OPEC meeting later in the day may address rising output in Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC members so far exempt from a push to cut production.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other non-OPEC producers gather in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Monday to discuss the pact to curb output by 1.8 million bpd through the end of March 2018.

The committee may recommend a conditional cap on Nigerian and Libyan oil production, sources familiar with the talks said, although some analysts were deeply skeptical the group would make such a move.

“The committee may issue a statement on cooperation in production cuts, but output cuts by Libya and Nigeria would be next to impossible considering Libya was just re-emerging from the civil war, for example,” said Kaname Gokon, strategist for commodities brokerage Okato Shoji in Japan.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Libya and Nigeria should cap output when their output stabilizes, the Financial Times reported.

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