Oil climbs as Putin says Russia ready to join OPEC output freeze
WTI closes at highest level since July 2015
Oil prices climbed higher on Monday as Russia indicated it is willing to curb production.
Speaking at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country "is ready to join joint measures on reducing the production of oil and invites other oil exporters to do so."
"We support the recent OPEC initiative to fix limitations on production and hope that, at the November OPEC meeting, this idea will be transformed into real agreements giving a positive signal to markets and investors," Putin said.
In the wake of Putin's comments, oil prices shot up. U.S. West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark, rose $1.54 US to settle at $51.35 US a barrel, its highest close since July 2015. Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international standard, hit $53.73 US, its highest level since Oct. 12, 2015, before finishing at $53.14 US a barrel in London.
Oil has been inching higher since Sept. 28, when OPEC announced it had agreed to a loose framework for a production cut. The cartel's members agreed to reduce output by about 700,000 barrels per day to a range between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels daily. OPEC estimates its current output is around 33.24 million barrels each day, and it has not cut its output since 2008.
Russia and OPEC together produce about half of the world's oil output, according to Bloomberg, meaning their co-operation on limiting production could send prices up and give a lift to the battered energy industry.
with files from The Associated Press