Crude-oil futures erased sharp losses and turned higher on Tuesday on the back of hopes OPEC and producers outside the cartel could reach an agreement to cut output to stem the persistent slump in oil prices.
Brent crude , the global oil benchmark, traded at $30.91 a barrel, up 1.3%, and recovered from as low as $29.27 earlier in the day. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures rose 0.7% to $30.56 a barrel, after earlier trading as low as $29.25.
The reversal came after hints from two producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries the cartel is ready to curb production if nations outside the group do the same.
Kuwait’s OPEC Governor Nawal al-Fuzaia said at an energy conference in Kuwait City that “OPEC is willing to cooperate with producers outside the group if they show that they are serious about cooperating,” according to Dow Jones Newswires.
“Non-OPEC producers keep on making statements that they are willing to cooperate but the reality is different,” she added.
Additionally, the Iraqi oil minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, said there are signs that top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia have become more flexible in considering a production cut, according to the news outlet.
The supply-demand mismatch has kept oil prices in the doldrums for nearly two years and there are few signs the market will balance itself soon.
Hopes of a production cut by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, dimmed early this week after the chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, said Monday his country could weather the low prices for “a long, long time.”