Crude oil settles higher as Saudi oil chief discusses extending cuts


© Reuters.  Crude oil settled 1.2% higher on Monday© Reuters. Crude oil settled 1.2% higher on Monday – Oil prices settled higher on Monday amid an uptick in sentiment after Saudi Arabia said its oil minister held talks with counterparts over the possibility of extending the supply-cut agreement beyond March 2018.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery rose 1.2% to settle at $48.07 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 0.04% to trade at $53.76 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader and the world’s largest exporter, said Sunday that the country’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih met with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts to discuss an extension of Opec’s supply-cut agreement.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.

The uptick in sentiment on oil prices comes against concerns that falling U.S. oil demand could weigh on crude futures in the wake of Hurricane Irma which made landfall in the U.S. over the weekend.

“We believe that Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

Meanwhile, monthly reports from the Opec and International Every Agency due Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, are expected to provide market participants with an update on Opec production and global demand forecasts.

Opec has faced criticism in recent months as investors question the oil cartel’s commitment to curb production after Opec’s compliance rate with output cuts fell to its lowest this year in July.

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