Oil gains amid push for further supply cuts


    TOKYO- Oil prices rose as OPEC and its allies discuss whether to deepen a supply cut pact ahead of meetings this week, although prospects after Saudi Arabia’s planned listing of Aramco fuelled uncertainty for traders, limiting gains.

    Brent futures rose 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $61.05 a barrel, after gaining 0.7 percent on Monday.

    US West Texas Intermediate crude was up by 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $56.16 a barrel.

    The contract rose 1.4 percent on Monday.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are discussing a plan to increase an existing supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by a further 400,000 bpd and extend the pact until June, two sources familiar with the matter said.

    Saudi Arabia is pushing the plan to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the initial public offering (IPO) of state-owned Saudi Aramco, the sources said.

    The “oil price is little moved today, suggesting that traders are sceptical about the additional 400,000 bpd cut on top of the extension of (the) current production cut agreement,” said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

    “The question is what they are going to do after the Aramco IPO and that creates uncertainty for the oil prices,” Yang said.

    OPEC ministers will meet in Vienna on Thursday and the wider OPEC+ group will gather on Friday.

    Concerns about the inability of the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil users, to reach a preliminary deal to resolve their 17-month trade dispute also weighed on oil prices, along with discouraging US economic data. – Reuters