Crude oil prices surged by more than four per cent at the start of the trading week on Monday after non-Opec producers struck a deal to join their Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) counterparts in a supply cut scheme at a meeting in Vienna, Austria, over the weekend.
The move by these oil-producing nations to slash production was aimed at pushing the oversupplied oil market into a rebalance, or even a deficit, to prop up oil prices, according to The Wall Street Journal.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in January recently traded at $53.79 a barrel, up $2.29 in the Globex electronic session. February Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $2.26 to $56.59 a barrel, the highest level in more than a year.
Energy stocks also soared on the news. In Hong Kong, PetroChina was up 2.4 per cent and Cnooc was up 1.8 per cent. In Australia, Woodside Petroleum was up 3.1 per cent and Oil Search was up 3.5 per cent. In Japan, Inpex was up 1.7 per cent.
Over the weekend, a group of heavyweight producers outside of the Opec, including Russia, agreed to scale back their output by 558,000 barrels a day. The move would come on top of the cut of 1.2 million barrels a day agreed to by Opec in late November. The total reduction represents almost two per cent of the global supply.
The non-Opec cuts, if carried out as described over the first half of 2017, would represent an unprecedented level of cooperation among oil-producing countries that have been groping for ways to lift oil prices out of a two-year funk, stated the report.
“This is truly a historic event,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal report. "It is the first time that so many oil-producing countries from different parts of the world have gathered in one room to accomplish what we have done," he added.
The bulk of the cuts—300,000 barrels a day—have been pledged by Russia, which produces more crude oil than any other country. Other output reductions are promised by 10 other countries, including Oman, Azerbaijan and Sudan.
The market got an extra boost of confidence on reports that Saudi Arabia indicated that, if necessary, the kingdom may be willing to take a deeper cut than the 486,000-barrel cut it had agreed in the November meeting.
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