Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Monday after Venezuela said that OPEC and non-OPEC countries were close to reaching an output stabilizing deal and as clashes in Libya raised concerns that efforts to restart crude exports could be disrupted. Brent crude futures were trading at $46.39 per barrel at 0046 GMT, up 62 cents, or 1.4 per cent, from their last settlement. US West Texas Intermediate futures were up 63 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $43.66 a barrel.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries could be announced this month. OPEC members may call an extraordinary meeting to discuss oil prices if they reach consensus at an informal gathering in Algiers this month, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said during a visit to Algeria, the country’s state news agency, APS, reported on Sunday. “We had a long bilateral meeting with Rouhani. We’re close to a deal between OPEC producer countries and non-OPEC,” Maduro told a news conference.
Iran’s August crude exports jumped 15 per cent from July to more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd), according to a source with knowledge of its tanker loading schedule, closing in on Tehran’s pre-sanctions shipment levels of five years ago. Clashes in Libya, which halted the loading of the first oil cargo from Ras Lanuf in close to two years, also raised fears of a new conflict over Libya’s oil resources.
Eastern Libyan forces said they had reestablished control over two oil ports where an ousted faction launched a counter-attack on Sunday, briefly seizing one of the terminals. Brent and WTI prices were dragged to multi-week lows on Friday amid worries returning supplies from Libya and Nigeria would add to the global supply glut. Concerns over growing supplies remain a bugbear on sentiment as US crude production continues to rise.
US drillers added oil rigs for an 11th week in the past 12, in the week to Sept. 16. Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to Sept. 16, bringing the total rig count up to 416, the most since February. US gasoline futures opened 0.3 per cent higher at $1.4659 per US gallon after rising 2 per cent on Friday because of outages on Colonial Pipeline’s main gasoline line and in a key unit of BP Plc’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana.