Brent oil futures edged higher on Friday after Russia seemed likely to contribute a bigger output cut to an OPEC and non-OPEC deal, but Saudi Arabia voiced pessimism on whether an agreement could be reached as Iran insisted on an exemption.
International Brent crude oil futures fell below $60 per barrel in early trade, but firmed to $60.17 a barrel by 1041 GMT, up 11 cents from the close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 18 cents at $51.3 per barrel.
The slight recovery came after crude slumped by almost 3 percent the previous day, with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ending a meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday without announcing a decision to cut crude supply.
Iran appeared on Friday to be the main obstacle for an OPEC deal to cut oil production, as the group's leader Saudi Arabia had yet to agree exemptions for sanctions-hit Tehran, two OPEC sources said.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he was not confident a deal could be reached.
OPEC also wants to get Russia on board with cuts. Russian energy minister Alexander Novak returned to Vienna on Friday after discussing OPEC with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Novak said on Friday Russia would seek an agreement with OPEC and non-OPEC producers and a Russian Energy Ministry source said Moscow was ready to contribute a cut of around 200,000 bpd, up from the initial 150,000 bpd previously floated.
OPEC delegates have been pushing for Moscow to cut around 250,000 bpd.
First Published: IST