Oil prices surge on speculation around Opec+ meeting to cut production

US President Donald Trump hints output cuts of up to 15 million barrels by Saudi Arabia and Russia

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

Oil prices surged on Friday after Bloomberg reported that the Opec+ crude oil exporter group, which includes top producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia, is planning to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to discuss oil production cuts.

The global benchmark Brent crude, was trading at $31.12 per barrel, up 3.94 per cent at 1:11pm UAE time and US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate was up 0.95 per cent at $25.56 per barrel.

The development comes after US President Donald Trump said he expected Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce supply cuts of up to 15 million barrels.

Mr Trump said on Twitter that he had talks by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In a tweet on Thursday, he said he had just spoken to Prince Mohammed.

"I expect and hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 million barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be great for the oil & gas industry,” Mr Trump said.

He later said the cuts could be as much as 15 million barrels without providing full details.

Brent crude jumped more than 40 per cent on Thursday after Mr Trump’s announcement before pairing those gains and rose as much as 7.2 per cent on Friday.

Saudi Arabia has also called for an emergency meeting of Opec and non-Opec oil producers, according to Saudi Press Agency.

“Good news is Saudi actually called an emergency Opec+ meeting with Russia. Even though Saudi is gaining market share, the shrinking size of the overall pie will certainly encourage the world’s cheapest oil producer to strike a lower-production deal to improve the global oil prices, hence its revenues,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

“Having seen the dramatic consequence of its last month veto, Russia has interest to agree on a cut as well. And the intervention should be at least near 5 million barrels per day to match at least the slump in demand due to halted transports and grounded planes worldwide.”