Oil rises as US rig count falls

05 October 2015, News Wires – Crude prices edged up on Monday after Russia said it was prepared to meet other producers to discuss the situation in the global oil market, while a report showed a fifth weekly decline in the US oil rig count.

brent.oilBrent climbed 17 cents to $48.30 a barrel early on Monday after it finished up 44 cents, or nearly 1%, on Friday. US crude rose 12 cents to $45.66 a barrel after it settled up 80 cents, or 1.8%.

Russia’s energy minister said on Saturday that it was ready to meet with Opec and non-Opec oil producers to discuss global oil markets if such a meeting was called. He said a separate meeting between Russian and Saudi officials was being planned for the end of October.

US energy companies reduced the number of oil rigs by 26 in the latest week, the biggest cut since April and the fifth straight weekly fall, data showed on Friday, a sign low prices were pushing drillers away from the well pad.

The cutback brought the total rig count down to 614, the least since August 2010.

Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said on Friday said that global oil investments this year are on track to drop by 20%, marking their biggest decline in history as a halving in oil prices has hit energy companies’ revenue.

Saudi Arabia, however, is continuing with its investments in the oil and gas industry as well as solar energy despite the current drop in oil prices, the kingdom’s oil minister was quoted as saying on Friday.

On the geopolitical front, tensions have intensified as Russian planes have flown 20 sorties in Syria and struck 10 Islamic State targets in the past 24 hours, the country’s defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Russia has said it would step up air strikes in Syria, escalating a military intervention that Western powers say aims to support President Bashar al-Assad.

A committee of Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament gave its support on Sunday to Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers on condition there would be no foreign inspections of military sites and no curbs on developing its missile programme.

The United Arab Emirates is moving ahead with its oil and gas investments despite the current drop in oil prices and expects no delays in plans to boost its crude output potential by 2017, the country’s energy minister said on Sunday.

Asian stocks rose on Monday after prospects of a near-term interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve ebbed in the wake of Friday’s weaker-than-expected US employment data.

  • Reuters
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