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Oil prices rise to their highest in more than three years ahead of OPEC meeting

posted onApril 19, 2018

Oil price extended gains Thursday, rising to the highest levels in more than three years ahead of a crucial meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia. 

International benchmark Brent crude was up over 1% to $74.74, its best intraday price since Nov. 27, when Brent peaked at $77.46 while American benchmark WTI rose to over $69 per barrel, the highest level since Nov. 28, 2014, when it hit $73.56 according to Reuters.

Investment incentives increased after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of about 1 million barrels of U.S. oil supplies  for the week ended April 13.  

Oil values were also boosted following a news report in Reuters. The news agency citing industry sources reported that Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude rise to $80 or even $100 a barrel in the near future. 

The statement comes in line with OPEC's and other major oil producers' efforts to limit global oil production by implementing output cuts of up to 1.8 million barrels per day in order to battle the market oversupply and increase prices.

Investors were also looking ahead to the outcome of the joint OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial monitoring committee, or JMMC, meeting expected to be held on Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The cartel and the Kremlin are expected to extend their supply quota plan in an effort to push prices even higher. 

At the last joint JMMC meeting held in late January, the committee said OPEC and its allies saw compliance with production-cut agreement at 129% in December 2017

The next regularly-scheduled OPEC gathering is set for June 22 in Vienna and that’s where members of the group are expected to discuss a possible extension of the output-cut agreement beyond its expiration at the end of this year. 

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