Oil prices rallied on Monday after Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said an OPEC deal to limit the production of oil could be struck this month. Kate King reports
Suffering under a mountain of economic debt it's very much in Venezuela's interests to keep oil prices high. No surprises then that the country's President used a summit on home-soil to announce he believes an OPEC deal to limit oil production is imminent. (SOUNDBITE) VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT, NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "Here today I can say, we're close to a deal between OPEC producer countries and non-OPEC. And we hope that this month of September we will be able to announce an agreement to stabilise the market and stabilise oil prices." That of course sending prices up on Monday. Brent Crude rising almost 2 percent to $46.54 per barrel While U.S. crude was up 78 cents to $43.81 a barrel. But up until now any talk of a deal on capping has always proved elusive. (SOUNDBITE ) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR SAYING: "If a deal were to be struck the reaction in the oil markets and across financial markets oil price expectations generally would indeed be very significant, the fact that we are not seeing a very significant move suggests to me that markets are placing a very low probability on a form of deal being reached between OPEC and Russia." A previous attempt at a deal in April fell apart when Iran, which had just emerged from years of Western nuclear-linked sanctions, refused to take part. That meant the oil glut remained and so too the low prices. Libya, which has Africa's largest oil reserves, is one of the few oil-producing countries not contributing to the current surplus. Its ports are the subject of fierce fighting between rival government factions, with fresh unrest preventing it from kick-starting its exports. Whether Nicolas Maduro has simply been talking the talk will be revealed when OPEC members and Russia meet in Algeria next Monday.