Oil prices rose on Thursday ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna at which producers are expected to extend a supply-cut deal that came into effect in January with the goal of tightening supplies and propping up prices.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will be meeting at its headquarters in the Austrian capital, along with ministers from other oil producing countries, most importantly Russia.
OPEC is scheduled to hold an open session, including media, at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) in Vienna on Thursday, before going into a closed session at noon, according to a tentative programme on OPEC’s website.
Non-OPEC ministers are set to join at 3 p.m., followed by a joint press conference after the meeting.
Brent crude oil futures for February, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at 62.73 dollars a barrel . Oil was 67.90 dollars five weeks ago. .
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at 57.45 dollars a barrel.
While there has not been an official statement, OPEC and Russia seem ready to prolong their oil supply cuts until the end of 2018. The cuts were put in place last January and are set to expire next March.
However, an extension may include a review in June should healthy demand amid ongoing supply restraint overheat the market.
ANZ bank said “anything less than a nine-month extension to the current production agreement could see the recent sell-off accelerate.”(Reuters/NAN)