Oil prices marched higher on Tuesday following reports indicating that Russia and Saudi Arabia are considering extending the oil production cut deal agreed between both OPEC and non-OPEC members once it expires in March 2018.
Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak was a key architect of the output cut deal that was extended by nine months last May. Novak was quoted by the domestic news agency Tass as saying on Tuesday that representatives from the two countries had talked about an extension but that no specific decisions had yet been reached.
The comments follow remarks attributed to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Monday night that participants' compliance with the terms of the deal had been improving.
"I think the oil market is balanced. OPEC members' compliance with output cuts has not fallen in the last six months; it has increased," Zanganeh was quoted by Reuters as saying via the Iranian oil ministry's news agency SHANA.
The minister is reported to have added that unofficial talks between deal participants are currently underway.