Russia Restarts Oil Freeze Talks With Saudi Arabia: Reports

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Russia is opening up to an agreement with other major oil producers to freeze output, in a bid to boost crude prices, according to media reports on Monday. Alexander Novak, Russia's energy minister, said his country is consulting with Saudi Arabia and other producers to jointly cap production "if necessary," Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported. "We are cooperating in the framework of consultations regarding the oil market with OPEC countries and producers from outside the organisation, and are determined to continue dialogue to achieve market stability," Novak said, according to Reuters, which cited Asharq al-Awsat. The comments come after Saudi Arabia last week signaled it was considering measures to lift prices following a selloff in oil futures. The idea of a production freeze was also pitched earlier this year, but was quashed in April when Iran refused to get onboard with the plan. Oil prices rallied to a three-week high on Monday, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising 1.4% to $45.12 a barrel.

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