Oil briefly plunged below $50 on Thursday amid fears of an emerging supply glut, before reversing course after Reuters, citing unnamed industry sources, reported that Russia is considering cutting its oil output along with other members of the Oil and Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC).
"The idea at the meeting was that Russia needs to reduce. The key question is how quickly and by how much," one source who was familiar with the talks at Russian oil firms told Reuters. Russia is the second-largest oil-producing country.
November still marks the largest one-month drop for oil since the financial recession ten years ago, having lost about 22 percent so far.
A rise in U.S. crude supply, alongside a refusal by Saudi Arabia to reduce its output, sent Brent crude, the global index, to another 2018 low below $58 a barrel. It continued a slide that began on Wednesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin said oil at $60 a barrel was “absolutely fine.”
Data released from the International Energy Agency revealed that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia are pumping crude at record levels, causing supply to surpass demand.