Oil prices improve before OPEC meeting on output cut extension


Oil prices have risen slightly over the possibility of an extension to the OPEC-led output cut deal beyond March 2018 following a meeting of major producers in Vienna, Austria. 

Brent crude futures gained 8 cents to touch $56.51 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 12 cents reached $50.67, reported Reuters. 

OPEC members and other key producers are meeting later today to discuss the production-curb agreement. 

Participants earlier this year agreed to extend the reduction of output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to March next year in a bid to eliminate the global oversupply and support crude prices. 

"There will be strong rhetoric but whether or not they will be able to boost oil prices from current high levels is another question." 

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy was quoted by the news agency as saying: "(There will be) strong rhetoric but whether or not they will be able to boost oil prices from current high levels is another question." 

The focus of the meeting will be on OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, which were exempt from the initial deal. 

Effective from January this year, the deal has not had the desired impact on the market due to increasing US production. 

The recent months have seen the front-month Brent futures showing a higher increase than the forward prices. 

Earlier, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude production in the country touched 9.51 million bpd in the week ending 15 September from 8.78 million bpd in the previous week.