Investing.com – Oil prices surged to a month and a half high on Friday, amid news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia is considering extending production cuts into 2019.
gained 1.91% to $65:53 a barrel by 11:36 AM ET (15:36 GMT). futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 1 dollar and 31 cents, or 1.92%, to $70.23 a barrel.
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday that OPEC members will need to continue coordinating with Russia and other non-OPEC oil-producing countries on supply restraints in 2019 to reduce the global oil oversupply.
OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018, but Saudi Arabia now seems to be pushing for an extension.
Oil was also bolstered by news that U.S. President Donald Trump had named John Bolton as his National Security Adviser. The former UN ambassador is known for his calls to use military force against North Korea and Iran.
Geopolitical tensions in the region and between China and the U.S. have also increased prices. On Friday the Department of Justice has indicated nine Iranian intelligence service agents for hacking U.S. companies and universities.
Investors are also looking ahead to the , which is a leading indicator of oil production and demand for oil products. The count, which comes out at 2:00 PM ET (18:00 GMT), will give investors insight into U.S. oil production, as the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. have increased over the last few months.
While OPEC has cut oil supply, the U.S. has increased its production, sparking concerns that American producers could dampen efforts made by OPEC to end a supply glut.
U.S. crude production climbed to a new record of 10.4 million bpd last week, putting a drag on OPEC efforts to control supply. The U.S. has already surpassed Saudi Arabia in production and is expected to overtake Russia as the top producer by late 2018, with output of more than 11 million bpd.
In other energy trading, increased 1.48% at $2.0382 a gallon, while increased 1.41% to $2.0175 a gallon. slipped 0.65% to $2.603 per million British thermal units.
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