Oil prices rally to growing hopes for Russo-Saudi pact

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Brent crude oil rose nearly 12% in hopes of a supply agreement between the major oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia to alleviate the price collapse triggered by the coronavirus epidemic .

President Donald Trump said he had met with leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia in recent days and believed that an agreement to end a price war – which had brought Brent at lowest level since 2002 – to be concluded in “a few days”.

Saudi Arabia lobbied for a deal to deepen and extend production restrictions before the March meeting of oil ministers, but Russia hesitated. This prompted Saudi Arabia to pursue an “all-pumping” strategy to shock the market, reducing crude oil prices and raising production to record levels.

“I think they will be okay in the next few days. . . The two know what to do, “said Trump at a White House press conference on Wednesday, without giving details of why he was so confident that a deal would emerge.

Crude oil Brent, the international benchmark for oil, rose $ 2.88 to $ 27.64 a barrel. The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose $ 2, or 9.9%, to reach $ 22.31 per barrel.

Both Saudi Arabia and Russia have supported cooperation, but there appear to be no signs of a change in strategy at this time. On Wednesday, the kingdom increased production to more than 12 million barrels a day, its maximum level.

People close to the kingdom say the world’s largest oil exporter still wants a deal, but any production restrictions should be shared among all producers, including Russia.

Some market analysts have said that the collapse in demand was so severe, amid global restrictions and travel bans, that any reduction in supply from major producers would have only a limited impact.

Trump also said he would meet with US oil leaders to discuss other measures to help the suffering industry after the collapse in oil prices.

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