The hunt for a crude oil bottom continues. But for now, at least, the bulls appear to have some wind at their backs.
A week after WTI crude oil fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, some oil industry stakeholders appear to be hard at work trying to find reasons why the worst is over for crude.
Over the course of the week, oil ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Nigeria have all been saying an OPEC production freeze—which may help stabilize prices—is likely.
In a Friday interview with CNBC's "Fast Money," Nigeria oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said that one a freeze has been initiated, "I'm certainly hoping from prices in the range of $45 to $50, that's what I'm putting my fingers on."
He intoned: "Is there a scientific basis for that? Probably not."
Never mind that Iran's oil minister called such a freeze a "joke." Even if it does happen, commitments on the part of certain countries to simply not produce more than they already do would be cold comfort for the oil bulls, given the global supply glut.
So how about a coordinated production cut — the sort of market-manipulating action that an organization like OPEC is arguably designed to take?
In Wednesday remarks, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi dismissed such a step out of hand. "This is not going to happen because not many countries are going to deliver even if they say they will cut production," the official said. "So there is no sense in wasting our time seeking production cuts."