Oil prices have risen above $40 a barrel due to expectations that major oil producers worldwide will be unable to agree an output freeze this month.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 edged up 62 cents to $40.27 a barrel, while the US crude futures CLc1 rose 49 cents and traded at $36.99, Reuters reported.

On 20 March, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are set to meet with counterparts in Russia in Moscow to hold talks on the oil output freeze that may boost prices.

"We’re beginning to see the price of crude inch up very slowly."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted Nigeria petroleum minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as saying: "We’re beginning to see the price of crude inch up very slowly."

After Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and Russia proposed to freeze production at January levels, oil prices increased by around 25%.

According to analysts, a fall in production in the US supported oil prices although worries regarding weak demand, as well as a global production were capping potential for price increases.

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Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said that the annual average price for 2016 is expected to be lower than 2015 and recover in 2017.