Oil steadies as Saudi Arabia says it's optimistic on OPEC deal

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters as he arrives to a graduation ceremony of Mision Ribas educational program in Caracas

Oil steadies as Saudi Arabia says it's optimistic on OPEC deal

Russia, meanwhile, said it was ready to support OPEC's decision on an oil output freeze and sees big chances that the oil producers' group can agree on the terms of the freeze by November 30, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

"I'm still optimistic that the consensus reached in Algeria for capping production will translate, God willing, into caps on states' levels and fair and balanced cuts among countries", Falih said.

"The US EIA produced a higher-than-expected crude inventory figure, but this was subsumed into Opec gossip", said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

Analysts said uncertainty over the OPEC deal lingered in the markets and even if the producers' group does reach a deal, the impact is expected to be short lived.

Brent futures settled at $46.95 a barrel, up $2.52, or 5.7 per cent, its biggest percentage gain since September 28.

"Price volatility will increase as we approach the OPEC meeting scheduled for November 30, but markets will not ignore fundamentals", Kumar said.

During Friday, oil ministers such as Saudi Arabia's Khalid al-Falih met at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) whilst Iranian officials also attended.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in January CLZ6, -0.99% traded at $45 a barrel, down 49 cents, or 0.9%, in the Globex electronic session. USA light crude CLc1 was also up $1.30, at $44.62. Russiam authorities have also uttered readiness to support an OPEC decision to freeze oil output, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

- UBS sees Brent oil trading at $55 a barrel in six months as supply and demand rebalance, and at $60 in 12 months, according to an e-mailed report.

"The market is showing it's uncertain about what's going to happen", Mr. McGillian said.

Output at the fields west of the Karoun River, near Iran's border with Iraq, rose to about 250,000 barrels per day from 65,000 barrels in 2013, the Oil Ministry's news service Shana reported Sunday, citing President Hassan Rouhani at a ceremony to formally open the project.

Oil prices jumped 6 per cent on Tuesday, with USA crude notching its biggest daily percentage gain in seven months, on renewed expectations that OPEC will agree later this month to reduce a global supply glut.

Iran, which remains one of the main stumbling blocks to a final deal, has refused to cap production below 4 million barrels per day as it seeks to regain market share lost under sanctions.

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