(Reuters) – LONDON After falling for four weeks on demand worries and Middle East supply interruption due to the fighting between Israel and Hamas, oil futures inched higher on Monday, extending gains on the potential of OPEC+ tightening production curbs to prop up prices.
Futures for Brent crude increased by 34 cents, reaching $80.95 a barrel at 9:15 GMT. WTI crude in the US rose 31 cents to $76.20 a barrel.
WTI futures for January delivery rose 38 cents, to $76.42, while the more actively traded December contract expires later on Monday.
On Friday, both contracts ended trading 4% higher after Reuters reported that OPEC and its partners, including Russia, would discuss whether to implement further production curbs at their upcoming meeting on November 26.
Since late September, oil prices have fallen about 20%, and last week saw immediate inter-month spreads for Brent and WTI move into contango. When there is an abundance of supply, immediate prices fall below future prices to create a contango market.
According to oil broker PVM’s Tamas Varga, “some kind of response was forthcoming from the (OPEC) producer group” after last week’s “obliteration of oil bulls.”
“If additional cuts are agreed, a short-term price boost is expected, but its longer-term price impact seems dubious as enforcement and adherence will be the salient issue.”
After the United States government placed sanctions on three ships transporting Sokol crude to India, investors have been keeping a close eye on the Russian crude oil trade.
Russia has removed restrictions on exporting petrol on Friday, which might increase world supplies. This followed Russia’s removal of nearly all export restrictions on fuel last month.