Oil Stages Late Gains As Saudi, Russia, Venezuela To Meet
LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Monday on news that ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela would hold a previously unpublicised meeting in Doha this week, adding to speculation of a global output deal.
Benchmark Brent crude gained more than 60 cents in after-hours trading.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will attend the meeting on Tuesday in what would be the largest producer gathering since OPEC's last formal session in early December, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
After settling at $33.39 a barrel earlier in the day, barely changed from Friday, Brent rose to more than $34 a barrel by 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT). That adds to Friday's 11 percent surge, the biggest one-day jump in over seven years.
U.S. futures gained about 30 cents prior to the close of trade at 1 p.m. EST, hours early due to the Presidents Day holiday. Trading was thin across the board, potentially limiting the impact of the news.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino made no comment on his arrival to the Gulf state of Qatar on Monday, a witness said. Del Pino has been visiting major oil producers to rally support for the idea of "freezing" production at current levels to stem spiralling prices, sources have said.
The meeting is the latest sign of renewed efforts by OPEC members to try to tackle - possibly together with non-OPEC producers - one of the worst oil gluts in history, which has pushed prices to the lowest in more than a decade.
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