Oil tops $30 a Barrel on Hopes of Potential Deal

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By Jacob Maslow

Crude oil prices are higher on hopes that both OPEC and non-OPEC producers will come to an agreement that addresses swelling oversupply.

Brent crude, the worldwide oil benchmark, recovered from a decline earlier in the day and traded at $30.67 a barrel. Brent plummeted to a 13-year low last week and hit $27.10 a barrel, the lowest since 2003.

Producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are willing to cut oil production if non-OPEC producers join the move.  Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has refused to cooperate.

Kuwait’s OPEC Governor, Nawal al-Fuzaia, hinted during an energy conference in Kuwait City that her organization is ready to work with rival producers in order to stabilize crude oil prices.

“OPEC is willing to cooperate with producers outside the group if they show that they are serious about cooperating with OPEC,” she added, according to a report by Dow Jones Newswires.

Iraq’s oil minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, believes that top oil exporter Saudi Arabia may still agree to cut oil production despite an earlier statement issued by Saudi Aramco’s chairman that indicates otherwise.

In a statement issued at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, Khalid al-Falih said that Saudi Arabia is expected to thrive better than its rivals even if the slump in oil prices persists for a long time.

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