Oil prices have steadied after losses on 14 June as Saudi Arabia and Russia indicated their readiness to increase production.

Traders are focused on the meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia in Vienna, Austria, next week.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 slipped 20 cents, trading at $75.74 per barrel after declining 80 cents on 14 June, while US light crude CLc1 dropped ten cents to reach $66.79, according to Reuters.

Last month, both crude futures touched their highest levels in three and a half years.

Since then, the contracts have slipped away from the highs in the wake of rising US crude output and potential increase in supplies from Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and other producers, including Russia and other allies.

Reuters reported that the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak reached an agreement with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in Moscow to give their ‘in-principle’ backing to a gradual increase in production after enforcing supply cuts since January last year.

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By GlobalData
“The shape of the deal is far from certain yet, given the Russians seem to want a more aggressive wind back than most of OPEC.”

Novak was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We in general support this but specifics we will discuss with the ministers in a week.”

He stated that they would explore the option of gradually raising output by 1.5 million barrels per day, possibly starting from 1 July.

Falih said: “We will see where we go, but I think we’ll come to an agreement that satisfies, most importantly, the market.”

Reading signs from the negotiations between the ministers, analysts expect an increase in output from the upcoming Vienna meeting.

Futures brokerage AxiTrader chief market strategist Greg McKenna said: “The shape of the deal is far from certain yet, given the Russians seem to want a more aggressive wind back than most of OPEC.”