From The Wall Street Journal

Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend OPEC’s efforts to stabilize oil markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said over the weekend, as the broader coalition of producers inches closer to a deal this week.

Russia has yet to decide on how much production it would cut, Mr. Putin said, underscoring the remaining challenges ahead.

Oil prices rallied on Monday, with Brent crude, the global benchmark, rising 4.5% to $62.14 a barrel. The recovery follows the sharpest monthly slide for oil prices since October 2008, with U.S. crude and Brent each falling 22% last month.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies are set to meet Thursday and Friday in Vienna to decide whether output curbs are necessary after oil prices have fallen by about a third since early October due to oversupply.

“We have an agreement to extend our deal,” Russia’s Mr. Putin said late Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina. “There is no final decision on volumes, not yet,” he said, according to a press conference transcript published on the Kremlin’s official website.

OPEC’s technical advisers recommended production curbs of 1.3 million barrels a day next year, according to people familiar with the matter. Russia, which isn’t an OPEC member but coordinates production with the cartel, wants smaller reductions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

On Sunday, Suhail al-Mazroui, the Emirati energy minister and current OPEC president, added to cautious hopes an agreement will be reached.

“I am optimistic that we will reach a good solution and a good agreement to adjust production downward, to cut production,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

Meanwhile, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih hailed the current deal a success during a visit to Colombia Sunday.

“The results of the OPEC cooperation agreement on the stability of oil markets […serve] the interests of producers, consumers and investors,” the minister said on his Twitter account.

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