Crude oil prices were up on Friday morning as Russia signaled production cuts could come in the first half of next year, and a U.S. official said Iran's oil exports had declined by one million barrels per day since the onset of U.S. sanctions against the country on Nov. 5.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Moscow on Thursday that if production limits were to come, this would be implemented in the first and second quarters of next year.
He said Russia had not yet decided on cutting output, adding cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries would benefit the oil market.
Although it is yet unclear how much and for how long Russia would cut its crude oil production, OPEC is expected by experts to trim its output by 1.2 to 1.4 million barrels per day (mbpd).
The cartel's heavyweight, Saudi Arabia, could take the burden by lowering its production by around 1 mbpd, according to some experts, in an effort to not get criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump, in recent months, blamed OPEC for high oil prices, but thanked Saudi Arabia last week after prices fell to around $60 per barrel after hitting as high as $86 on Oct. 3.
Crude oil prices have fallen by around 30 percent since the beginning of October, due to oversupply in the market and a gloomy outlook for global economic growth that could hurt overall oil demand worldwide.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $60.12 per barrel on Friday at 0620GMT with a 0.6 percent gain, after closing Thursday at $59.73 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading at $51.54 a barrel at the same time, posting a 0.3 percent increase, after previously closing at $51.39.
- Sanctions on Iran curtail country's oil exports
U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said Thursday that U.S. sanctions on Iran had already had an impact on the country's exports.
"We have taken over a million barrels of oil [per day] off of Iran’s export list and many more barrels will be coming off very soon," Hook told reporters in a special briefing.
By reimposing sanctions on Nov. 5, the Trump administration is trying to bring Tehran to the negotiation table for the nuclear deal which it pulled out of in May.
By Ovunc Kutlu