Oil Advances Above $30 as Saudis Said to Plan Talks With Russia


Oil advanced above $30 a barrel as Saudi Arabia is said to meet with Russia in Doha on Tuesday to discuss the market, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Futures in New York climbed as much as 4.3 percent from Friday’s close. There was no settlement Monday because of the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al- Naimi will speak with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in the Qatari capital, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The person didn’t say what the agenda of the meeting will be, which will also be attended by Venezuela.

Oil is still down about 17 percent this year amid the outlook for increased Iranian exports and BP Plc predicts the market will remain “tough and choppy” in the first half as it contends with a surplus of 1 million barrels a day. Speculators’ long positions in West Texas Intermediate through Feb. 9 rose to the highest since June, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

WTI for March delivery climbed as much as $1.26 to $30.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange from the Friday close. Trades will be booked Tuesday for settlement purposes. The contract gained 12 percent to settle at $29.44 on Friday after dropping 19 percent the previous six sessions.

Brent for April settlement rose 3 cents to $33.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday. The European benchmark crude ended the Friday session at a premium of $1.45 to WTI for April.

Ben Sharples

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