Business

SINGAPORE (Web Desk) – Oil prices extended their gains in Asia on Thursday (Mar 17) after key producers agreed to meet next month to discuss limiting output and stabilise a long-running price decline.

Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammed al-Sada confirmed that key producers from within and outside the OPEC cartel will meet Apr 17 in Doha, stoking hopes of an agreement to ease a global supply glut.

The initiative is backed by 15 countries accounting for about 73 per cent of global oil output, said the minister, who also serves as president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who supports the initiative, said Iran had indicated that it is “ready to participate” in the meeting, days after Tehran had warned it would not consider any limits until it had roughly doubled production to four million barrels a day.

The news sent oil prices surging and at around 0300 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April climbed 65 cents, or 1.69 per cent, to US$39.11. Brent for May rose 38 cents, or 0.94 per cent, to US$40.71.

WTI rose 5.8 per cent and Brent advanced 4.1 per cent to firmly close above US$40 a barrel on Wednesday.