The minister alleged that OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia had proposed that oil-producing countries cut production by up to five percent, a prospect he said would be discussed at an upcoming meeting.
Now, no talks have been scheduled between Russian Federation and members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to four delegates who asked not to be identified. Now that this relief rally is occurring, is a possible cooperation among oil-producing nations enough to sustain an actual recovery in oil prices?
Oil has pared its decline this year to about 9% after earlier plunging to a 12-year low as volatility in global markets added to concern over brimming USA stockpiles and rising exports from Iran after the removal of sanctions.
Some observers evidently took that to mean that OPEC, a global oil cartel unofficially led by Saudi Arabia, was ready to cut oil production, a move that would boost oil prices.
Thus, reports about the Russian oil companies discussing possible output cuts with the Ministry of Energy have raised oil quotes, which increased from $31.1 per barrel in late afternoon trading on Wednesday to $33.3 on Thursday.
On Thursday, Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak confirmed the information, saying that the issue is about global reduction of oil output by 5%.
With little sign that tactic is working and the Russian and Saudi oil-dependent economies hurting badly from the price slump, there are signs that both countries could be willing to change tack.
However, the gains were later pared and Phillip Futures analyst Daniel Ang said the rise has been driven more by a fall in the dollar after U.S. data showed a steep 5.1 per cent fall in new orders for manufactured goods in December.
"There's no set date" for a meeting, Novak said.
Oil was steady around $34 per barrel on Friday as hopes of a deal by major exporters to cut production faded slightly.