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Oil prices spike on output meeting

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Oil prices have reversed losses following a confirmation of a meeting between big oil producers in March.

Venezuelan officials confirmed that Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have agreed to meet next month.

Oil prices have tumbled 70% since mid-2014 due to a excess of supply and sluggish demand.

Earlier this month Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to freeze oil output at January levels. But there's scepticism over what they can achieve.

"It's the Venezuela headline that got the market excited enough to rebound, though it's baffling why as everyone knows of this meeting and that it's not going to achieve anything," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital, a New York energy hedge fund.

Saudia Arabia has been maintaining its level of oil production, despite falling prices, in a move designed to force higher-cost producers out of the market.

But that's been very costly for nations that rely on revenue from oil, so there's pressure for Saudi Arabia and other big producers to co-ordinate a cut in production.

At around 19:30 GMT, North Sea Brent Crude was trading at $35.55 a barrel, up $1.14 or 3.3%.

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