Just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was comfortable with the current level of oil prices at around $60 a barrel, and also thanked Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the OPEC-Russia cooperation in managing the oil market.
Nairametrics had reported that Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, flew to Abuja to meet with his Nigerian counterpart, Kachikwu, ahead of two very important OPEC meetings scheduled to hold in just a matter of days.
Fundamentally, investors remain concerned about the continuous flow of US supply along with new worries that Saudi Arabia is insisting that it will not cut production on its own to stabilize supply and prices.
Oil prices are heading towards their worst monthly decline in a decade on fears that overproduction will lead to a surplus of supply next year. Igor Sechin, chief executive of the Russian oil company Rosneft and an influential ally of President Vladimir Putin, has aggressively promoted drilling at home and overseas.
In November 2014, Saudi Arabia chose to maintain production and allow prices to fall, which temporarily halted the US shale boom but wrecked the kingdom's finances and pushed its economy into recession. With fears of a scarcity now giving way to worries about oversupply, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russian Federation are preparing to discuss more cuts when they meet next week in Vienna.
Brent for January settlement, which expires Friday, added 7 cents to $59.58 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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The biggest snag in Opec's push for a consensus on cutting oil output could come from relentless growth in supply from its second-biggest producer.
The kingdom can ill-afford another slump in oil revenues so soon after the last one, which suggests it will have to cut production, while trying to cajole other OPEC and non-OPEC countries to share the burden. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many U.S. politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.
Trump is expected to discuss oil prices with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation at the Group of 20 summit at the end of the week.
"Iraq has been increasing production, but not to the extent that Saudi Arabia has done".
"A credible message from OPEC's December 6 meeting is critical for price support", Jefferies said. That doesn't mean the Kremlin is about to give up its alliance with Saudi Arabia, which extends beyond oil, but it means could drive a hard bargain.
"We are in contact with OPEC, and we are ready to continue our joint efforts if needed", Putin said on Wednesday. According to Reuters, Moscow intends to reduce oil production gradually, and at the moment it is trading with Saudi Arabia with respect to time and volume reduction.