Oil prices have increased on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin talked over plans.

The talks aim to stabilise energy markets upset by plunging oil prices and the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to Reuters, at 8:33 UTC Brent crude futures were up by $0.61 to $23.37 a barrel. Earlier in the week the value dropped to $22.76, its lowest point in 18 years.

Meanwhile, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.04, to $21.13 per barrel. US crude closed at $20.09 in the previous session, at its lowest since 2002.

Research institute JBC Energy was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The gap between physical assessments and futures reflects the differences between the realities on the ground and speculation about efforts to ease that pressure going forward.”

Yesterday, a Saudi Energy Ministry official said the country would boost its oil exports to 10.6 million barrels per day (bpd) from May.

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By GlobalData

Meanwhile, global oil refiners have reduced their throughput because of the slump in transportation fuel demand. Refineries across Europe are reducing output by at least 1.3 million bpd.

Currently, the US has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country, surpassing China and Italy. It has reported 164,500 confirmed cases and 3,100 deaths so far.

Globally, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 736,944. About 157,839 are reported to have recovered from the disease, while coronavirus deaths have crossed 35,116.

See our coronavirus timeline for the latest on how Covid-19 is affecting oil and gas.