Oil Prices Edge Higher on U.S. - China Trade Deal, Saudi Output Cuts
Global oil prices edged higher on Monday as international investors shifted focus towards the signing of a preliminary “phase one” trade deal between U.S. and China, which is expected to take place on January 15th. The thawing of trade relations between the world’s two largest oil consumers coupled with official reports of a deeper than expected cut in Saudi Arabian oil output during December lent support to prices that had witnessed strong downward momentum following the de-escalation of military tensions between the U.S. and Iran last week. According to reports, Saudi Arabia’s production cut made up for excess production by OPEC members such as Iraq and Nigeria who did not adhere to their quotas during 2019. In a television interview on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stated that OPEC and its allies continued to remain focused on using production cuts to reduce inventories to normal levels. Further discussions on production cuts between OPEC and other non-OPEC producers, including Russia, are now expected to take place in March.