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Nigeria groans as output declines

Militant attacks on oil and gas installations and the consequent loss, according to Reuters, of about 700,000 barrels of oil per day in the volatile oil and gas producing Niger Delta of Nigeria still serve as good market opportunities for most oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia notwithstanding the the slight decline in crude oil prices.

Crude oil futures hit five-week highs for a second straight day a couple of days ago as sources at OPEC spoke of Saudi Arabia’s apparent desire to see higher prices continuing but feared countries like Iran, Russia, and Iraq pose stumbling blocks.

Sources said OPEC would probably revive talks on freezing oil output levels when it meets non-OPEC nations in a couple of weeks.

Russian energy officials were reported to have held talks with their OPEC counterparts on the global oil markets, as well as other questions affecting their mutual relationship. Another meeting, sources said would be held in the Austrian capital between Russia and OPEC sometime in October.

Brent crude futures were up 63 cents, or 1.3%, at $48.98/bbl while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 68 cents, or 1.5%, to $46.42/bbl, after reaching $46.51, its highest since July 7.

And both crude benchmarks have gained about 11% over the past four sessions after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying that the kingdom would work with others to stabilize the market.



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