Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Crude oil futures rose Monday morning with WTI finally picking up after ten consecutive declines, and Brent seeing gains after selloffs the previous week, but the lack of consensus by OPEC and non-OPEC countries on a production cut prevented a bigger recovery.
WTI front-month future prices traded at $60.66, up 0.8 percent, as of 9.41 a.m. EST while Brent traded at $70.79 per barrel, or up 0.9 percent, at the same time.
Traders had reportedly speculated throughout last week that the OPEC and non-OPEC countries could jointly announce cuts after sharp selloffs in October and early November, but this did not happen at a weekend meeting. Only Saudi Arabia unilaterally decided on a 500,000 barrel per day reduction in December exports, from November.
"Crude oil has made a tentative attempt to recover following the OPEC+ meeting in Abu Dhabi. This after Saudi Arabia said they would cut December shipments by 500,000 barrels per day," Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told UPI.
"However, the market's obsession with lower prices, which last week drove WTI into a bear market, would probably require additional support from further production cuts to reverse the negative sentiment," he added.
The talks only resulted in ongoing monitoring for a possible December decision in Vienna.
Prices for Brent and WTI futures just partly recovered from big selloffs during the previous week that resulted from the unexpected U.S. announcement of a large number of waivers for buyers of Iranian oil. The U.S. said that eight countries, including some of the biggest consumers of oil, could continue to purchase Iranian crude oil, even after sanctions went into effect Nov. 5.
On Oct. 26, before WTI saw a declines for 10 straight days, prices had traded at $67.59 per barrel. As for Brent, it had traded at $73.17 per barrel on Nov. 5, the day when the United States announced the waivers taking the market by surprise on the same day that sanctions went into effect.
The previous week's selloff was attributed mainly to the market pricing-in the waivers announcement, and to a lesser degree a report of increased U.S. oil production from the Energy Information Administration.
A U.S. announcement in May that it was going to impose nuclear-related sanctions against Iran on November 5, and to any nation that would trade with Iran and defy sanctions, had led to crude oil future price gains for several months into early October. The gains were fueled by anticipation that a sizable portion of Iran crude oil exports would be curbed.
During October, however, Saudi Arabia announced production increases in a bid to help markets remain balanced in case of a sizable reduction in Iranian crude oil exports. Iran had 2.8 million barrels of crude daily oil production in April, just before the sanctions were announced.
Following the Saudi Arabian announcement, which included comment that non-OPEC nations like Russia would also contribute to keep the market in balance by adding production, crude oil prices had sharply declined in October. Brent saw a peak of over $86 per barrel on October 3.
As a result, concern that demand would exceed supply -- a view that prevailed up to early October -- shifted and there is currently a view among producing nations that in 2019 supplies would exceed demand, which could even worsen if there is a worldwide economic slowdown.