Oil prices rebound after Algeria says all options open at OPEC meeting

By By Keith WallisFeaturesReuters

Crude prices rebounded on Monday after Algeria's energy minister said the day before that all options were possible for an oil output cut or freeze at this week's informal meeting of OPEC producers.

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That came after prices tumbled 4 percent on Friday amid signs Saudi Arabia and Iran were making little progress in achieving preliminary agreement to freeze production.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26-28, where they will discuss a possible output-limiting deal.

"We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed," Algerian energy minister Noureddine Bouterfa said in Algiers on Sunday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had climbed 42 cents to $44.90 a barrel as of 0914 GMT after falling $1.84, or 4 percent, in the previous session. U.S. crude gained 3 percent last week.

Brent crude futures advanced 42 cents to $46.31 after settling down $1.76, or 3.7 percent, at the previous close. The benchmark rose 0.3 percent last week.

"The fact countries like Algeria are still talking about a deal means it's still on the table regardless of others' views about what might be happening," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayers Alliance.

"I expect Algeria and Venezuela to keep pushing for a deal - it's imperative for them to keep the price up," Barratt said.

So far there are mixed signals on whether a deal on cutting or freezing production is possible.

Sources told Reuters on Friday that Saudi Arabia did not expect a decision to be made in Algeria, while Saudi Arabia had also offered to reduce production if Iran caps its own output this year, an offer to which Tehran had yet to respond.

"With discussions around a production freeze at OPEC heating up, oil prices are likely to remain volatile early this week," ANZ said in a note on Monday.

(Reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Joseph Radford)