OnlineSee all articles
Price leap on Opec deal hopes
Oil prices jumped more than 7% on Wednesday as some of the world's largest oil producers gathered in Vienna to agree on a production cut that could be bigger than expected.
Brent crude futures were up $3.33 at $49.71 per barrel by 11:02 GMT, on course for their biggest one-day move in nine months. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were $2.95 higher at $48.18 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) started a meeting at 09:00 GMT on Wednesday at its Vienna headquarters to discuss terms of a potential deal to cut production in an effort to prop up prices that have fallen by more than half since 2014 due to oversupply.
A source told Reuters that delegates were now discussing a bigger-than-expected cut in production of 1.4 million barrels per day.
A preliminary agreement struck in Algiers in September set an output cap at around 32.5 to 33 million bpd compared with the current 33.64 million bpd.
Heading into the meeting, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said the market's fundamentals were moving in the right direction, but he believed the group was "getting close to a deal".
PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said: "The extent of the (price) move shows no one wants to miss the boat. There must be a general consensus that there will be a cut, whether it's going to be bullish, I don't know, but it's the domino effect."
An Iraqi delegate said on Wednesday that some form of agreement would be reached and Iran's oil minister also said he was optimistic.
Traders said markets were jittery and prices could swing sharply in either direction depending on developments in Vienna.
Oil fell by nearly 4% on Tuesday on reports of disputes between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq over details of the planned production cut.
Iran and Iraq have been resisting pressure from Saudi Arabia to curtail production, making it hard for the group to reach an agreement on output cuts.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and ANZ agreed that oil prices would quickly rise above $50 per barrel should Opec come to an agreement. Without a deal, the consensus is for a fall to the low $40s.